165. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan1

2565. Amman’s 1970 and 1972.2 We are greatly concerned by latest developments as reported reftels. We believe it essential immediately take strong line with Jordanian and Iraqi leaders, particularly Nuri and Faisal, Rifai and Hussein. You should urgrently inform them orally that information we have received regarding proposed implementation Union agreement, particularly delay in formal assumption conduct foreign affairs by AU Government and proposal that independent missions be retained Amman and Baghdad,3 creates serious doubts in our minds that Union will in fact have international status required for recognition as new state. Apparent lack of intention establish functioning AU governmental authority at early date also creates problem from point of view immediate recognition. Apparent unwillingness GOI and HKJ leaders make concessions necessary to establishment real Union will in our judgment enable enemies of Union without [Page 289] difficulty to convince public opinion in Middle East and elsewhere that AU is merely sham and that principles of Arab unity are being advanced only by leaders UAR. As we have made clear on number occasions in past we believe security and welfare of both Iraq and Jordan can be best assured through establishment strong and durable Union. We consider that having publicly committed themselves to form such Union, e.g. February 14 declaration, if Iraq and Jordan now do not carry through their political position in the area will be seriously damaged.

You should emphasize our approach is based on close and friendly relations which have existed between us and is prompted by our very real concern over what we fear may be consequences of failure establish Arab Union as constructive entity in Middle East. Further point out that, assuming AU found to possess legal qualifications for recognition as state, we assume diplomatic relations would properly be conducted only with duly constituted AU Ministry Foreign Affairs, not with local governments as Rifai proposes. We also assume international agreements would be concluded only with AU Government through which US economic and military assistance should be channeled.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786.00/–1958. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Waggoner and Parker and cleared in L and by Rountree. Also sent to Baghdad.
  2. Telegram 1970 from Amman, May 19, commented on the impending formation of a cabinet for the Arab Union Government, and the implications for the new federation of the decision of Samir Rifai to bypass an active role in the Arab Union Cabinet for the position of Prime Minister of the local cabinet formed by King Hussein to deal with local Jordanian affairs. The Embassy concluded that this decision did not bode well for the success of the Arab Union. (Ibid.)

    Telegram 1972 from Amman, May 19, reported that Rifai had indicated that his decision to refuse the post of Prime Minister/Foreign Minister in the Arab Union Cabinet was made under instructions from King Hussein. Hussein decided to slow down the effective integration of the two states in light of what he viewed as Iraqi reluctance to modify a number of the economic and foreign policy issues on which there were differences of opinion between Amman and Baghdad. (Ibid. Both telegrams are included in the microfiche supplement)

  3. In telegram 1974 from Amman, May 20, the Embassy reported that a note dated May 19 had been received from the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcing the creation of the Arab Union Government and the formulation of a unified cabinet headed by Prime Minister Nuri Said. The note went on to state, however, that the conduct of Jordan’s foreign relations would remain as it had been until a determination was made concerning a unified foreign policy structure for the Arab Union. (Department of State, Central Files, 786.00/5–2058)
  4. Chargé Wright reported, in telegram 1998 from Amman, May 22, that he had raised the points outlined in telegram 2565 to Amman in a conversation with Rifai, but Rifai had insisted that until the integration of foreign affairs was achieved under the Arab Union constitution no foreign ambassadors could be accredited to the Arab Union, and matters relating to military and economic aid would have to continue to be handled, as previously, on a bilateral basis with the countries involved. Rifai estimated that it would take several months for this integration to be achieved. (Ibid., 786.00/5–2258; included in the microfiche supplement)