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

1919. Amman’s 1489 to Department.2

For Amman and Baghdad—Following comments can be made to appropriate Iraqi and Jordanian officials:

We consider strengthening ties between Jordan-Iraq to be constructive move and have noted with pleasure substantial progress apparently being made to this end. We think that a closer Jordan-Iraqi association will confer real benefits upon peoples of both countries and contribute to peace, stability and economic progress of area.
We are pleased that Baghdad Pact formula acceptable to Iraq and Jordan has been found. We are confident any Iraqi reconsideration [Page 275] of its BP relationship will be carried out accordance Article 7 of Pact3 and will also take into account legitimate interest of all Iraq’s treaty partners. In our view Pact provides a useful security shield from which all ME states benefit and there is nothing inconsistent between Iraqi membership in BP and fulfillment of Iraqi obligation to other Arab states.
US has in past been pleased to offer assistance to Iraq and Jordan in efforts being made by them to strengthen their independence and integrity and to promote economic well-being. If new association formed, these efforts presumably thenceforth would be directed toward mutual purpose of strengthening association. US for its part would be prepared, subject US constitutional requirements and availability funds, to consider how it could best assist partners in carrying out this task, with particular reference to needs of Jordanian member.
We have on past occasions made clear to the Israelis our view that a strengthening of ties among friendly Arab states would be a favorable development. In particular we have stated that we viewed with favor Iraq–Jordan mutual assistance efforts. We shall continue as circumstances warrant to take this position with Israel Government.

For Jidda

Jidda should appropriately communicate paragraphs 1 through 3 to King. Add our hope that Saud would continue policies of maintaining close relations with Kingdoms of Iraq and Jordan and will lend appropriate support to new association if formed.

For Tel Aviv

If approached by Israelis re Jordan–Iraq association, you should comment that we favor this move, which should strengthen position pro-West Arab states in area and provide counter-balance to Egypt-Syria union. We believe that last thing Iraq and Jordan want is trouble with Israel, and hope that Israel will take no action re new association which will cause it difficulties in its formative stage.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 685.87/2–1358. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Rockwell and cleared by Herman F. Eilts in NR, Berry, Dillon, and Herter. Also sent to Baghdad, Tel Aviv, and Jidda and repeated to Cairo, Damascus, Beirut, and London.
  2. In telegram 1489 from Amman, February 13, Wright reported that a compromise agreement had been reached in the talks between Jordan and Iraq on the issue of Iraq’s membership in the Baghdad Pact which would permit Iraq’s continuing membership. He also reported that agreement was near on an announcement of a federation under which both monarchs would retain their thrones, but there would be a substantial integration of military and foreign services and policies. (Ibid.)
  3. Article 7 of the Baghdad Pact provided that any of the contracting parties could withdraw from the pact by giving written notice within 6 months of the expiration of the renewable 5-year periods that the pact remained in force. For text of the Baghdad Pact, see American Foreign Policy, Basic Documents, 1950–1955, pp. 1257-1259.