159. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan 1

1873. Amman’s 1433,2 1436,3 1437.4 You should inform King and Rifai that we have given careful consideration to points raised by them. We are pleased that consultation of type envisaged in Depcirtel 7025 is taking place and continue believe it essential that common attitude and plans be developed by friendly Arab states.

On specific requests made by King you should state following:

As we have indicated, if Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, or any two or more of these states, decide to establish closer political relations among themselves US would regard this as constructive move consistent with interests states themselves and that of strengthening security of region. Would not be feasible, nor do we believe useful for US publicly to express an attitude re King’s proposal in absence at least substantial progress toward realization thereof.
Question of Iraq’s relationship Baghdad Pact is of course one for Iraq to decide. In our view Pact provides security shield to all ME states, and none would profit by weakening of Pact through Iraq’s withdrawal. In addition to security benefit, latter country receives substantial material advantages from its Pact membership. There is nothing inconsistent between Iraq’s membership in Baghdad Pact and fulfillment of Iraq’s obligations to other Arab countries. Iraqi offers of military assistance to Jordan demonstrate this.
Constitutional limitations on our ability make commitments over future US fiscal years pointed out in Deptels 1294 and 1309. These same tels indicated strongly sympathetic attitude of Executive Branch and our belief that Hussein can be certain that Jordan’s needs will continue receive sympathetic consideration by US. You should review points made these tels with King and refer our readiness make available from US FY 1958 funds $20 million for support Jordan budget. New US FY begins July 1, 1958 at which time we hope be able render further assistance re Jordan’s needs. We have already informed King of our willingness provide number of modern jet fighters and expect be able discuss further details shortly. We hope King and HKJ Govt will continue efforts persuade Saudis of necessity SAG aid to [Page 274] Jordan and are prepared appropriately support such efforts. We and UK are also making strong efforts persuade Iraq make substantial aid available HKJ. While we can appreciate King Hussein’s deep concern for financial stability of his country, we believe that he has no basis for serious apprehension that HKJ’s essential needs will not be met.

We appreciate King’s advising us of Soviet overtures and of his forthright attitude in dealing with them. We feel that he has correctly assessed motives behind this Soviet move.6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 785.5–MSP/2–458. Secret; Priority. Drafted in NEA/NE by Bergus and cleared with NR and NEA. Repeated to Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda, Beirut, and London.
  2. Supra .
  3. See footnote 4, supra .
  4. Telegram 1437 from Amman, February 4, reported a discussion on February 3 between Chargé Wright, the Director of USOM in Amman, and Foreign Minister Rifai concerning the U.S. aid program for Jordan. Rifai outlined aid requests for fiscal year 1959, and, when asked concerning anticipated aid from other Arab states, he replied that the only aid likely to be forthcoming was their prayers and best wishes. (Department of State, Central Files, 785.5–MSP/2–458; included in the microfiche supplement)
  5. See footnote 2, supra .
  6. In telegram 592 from Amman, February 7, Wright reported that he had conveyed the message contained in telegram 1873 to Amman to Rifai that day, and the Foreign Minister was pleased with the U.S. response. He was certain that King Hussein would feel the same. He added that King Faisal had accepted Hussein’s invitation to come to Amman to discuss the formation of the Arab federation proposed by Hussein. (Department of State, Central Files, 685.87/2–758; included in the microfiche supplement)