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

665. Re Deptel 6662 and Embtels 596, 597. Conveyed substance reference telegram Prime Minister Rifai this morning, made following points:

View promised budgetary support no question USG intention “stand with Jordan: in future as in past.”
Regardless size/nature any new military units they at least would represent definite increase Jordan Armed Forces, provide necessary reassurance present pro-Western government, have capacity deal effectively internal security problem.
Present US FY-58 funds economic development program opinion qualified technicians probably as much if not more than HKJ could effectively use current FYJ.
USG had demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt it willing/able make substantial contribution maintenance Jordan’s integrity/independence. Question now remains whether Hussein/RIFAI on their side prepared continue fight which to date characterized by their great courage/determination defend free world principles. Rifai said first wished me convey my government his personal appreciation as well that Jordan Government “this indisputable evidence USG faith HM King Hussein/those loyally serve him.” Added although US proposal failed provide favorable answer re mutual defense treaty, establishment MAAG Jordan, left expansion Jordan Armed Forces in doubt, kept level budgetary aid approximately that last year, nevertheless he felt it did demonstrate US resolve not “throw Jordan to wolves,” provided sufficient basis on which he personally and he believed King Hussein would agree present pro-Western government could continue in office. He pointed out due unlikelihood any substantial amount POL funds will be available meet September army payroll additional $6 million [needed?] and which to be provided by USG (see Embtel 539).3

I said hoped that what I consider be generous US offer would put end further talks his (RIFAI) resignation as Prime Minister or King Hussein’s abdication. He readily agreed adding while undoubtedly negotiations would be required work out details general framework USG proposal sufficiently broad provide room maneuver. I said while statement this position welcome/appreciated, I felt obliged request audience with King in order hear at first hand his reaction. Rifai said [Page 536] he had meeting with Hussein scheduled this afternoon in order report progress his talks with SYG, promised telephone from palace when King could see me, added he confident Hussein attitude will parallel his own.

Comment: Acceptance by Hussein/RIFAI USG offer is constructive forward step but only one step along rocky road ahead Jordan. Resolution its economic plight due geographic/political isolation, its encirclement by presently hostile states (radio broadcasts Baghdad/Damascus last few days worst ever), undiminished opposition Rifai government large majority Jordanian people lack any diminution Nasser appeal Arab world all still remain plus unpleasant but inevitable fact UK troops must soon be withdrawn. My opinion [response?] we gave convinced Hussein/RIFAI “stay in there pitching” but unless widespread international change over which they have no control takes place outcome ball game very much in doubt.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 785.00/8–2858. Secret; Priority; Limited Distribution.
  2. Supra .
  3. See footnote 3, supra .