120. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State0

185. Damascus 145 to Department;1 Cairo 6112 and 6223 to Department. In meeting with King 4th he confirmed that in response request from new Syrian regime he had withdrawn most of Jordanian troops from border area. Also said leaders new regime had informed him their conviction ability handle any Nasser military counter effort without Jordanian or other outside help. King emphasized however that if this should prove not be case, Jordan, Iraq and probably Turkey would send troops to aid of regime. Went on state his conviction Nasser under present circumstances did not have capability making significant military counter-move against Syria. Noted GOJ emissary, just returned from Syria, had reported situation completely under control and that emissary had been told if he had any doubts this score, he free go any part of Syria to see for self. King also mentioned had just learned curfew completely lifted. Also said had received word from Cairo that sabotage teams would be parachuted into both Syria and Jordan. He was taking necessary internal security precautions this regard.

King then renewed strong urgings that USG promptly recognize new regime, using arguments previously reported and particularly stressing (despite earlier indication negligible chances Nasser military intervention) that USG recognition would break log-jam holding back other recognitions which in turn would collectively constitute definitive deterrent against Nasser counter-move. Indicated moreover his puzzlement re USG delay, believing regime now clearly met normal criteria for recognition. Added new argument to effect he had always understood USG supported principle of self determination, and new independent Syrian regime clearly had support Syrian people.

[Page 283]

I spoke of my gratification re southward movement Jordanian troops and reiterated USG concern ramifications which would result if Jordan and/or neighboring states moved troops across Syrian border. Also welcomed his view there little likeliHood Nasser would make military counter-move now.

Re recognition, said I had reported his views in full to USG and knew that these along with other factors were receiving full consideration. Said matter under careful study and USG presently canvassing situation. Noted that current log-jam, to which he had referred, due in part at least to failure of other Arab states to take lead in extending recognition and should not be attributed to USG.

Comment: While King Hussein in relatively relaxed mood, each day’s delay extension USG recognition new Syrian regime placing additional strain USG–GOJ relations, both now and as lingering memory for future. Nevertheless as long as Department believes there reasonable chance Nasser will not move militarily against Syria, Embassy concurs efforts work through this situation with resulting minimum disruption USG-Nasser relations. From purely local point of view however would hope that recognition be accorded as rapidly as other factors permit.

If on other hand Department has substantial reason believe Nasser actually planning launch military attack against Syria, believe essence of Hussein argument re deterrent value of USG and resultant recognitions merits urgent consideration. In any case if Nasser does attack and US has failed to take step Hussein believed could have prevented this attack, he will be even less disposed than I now think he will be to heed US advice to refrain from crossing border if so requested by Syrian regime.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786B.00/10–461. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Ankara, Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Jidda, London, and Tel Aviv. Relayed to JCS,OSD, Army, Navy, Air Force, White House, and CIA. The source text indicates that Strong was informed on October 4.
  2. Knight reported in telegram 145 from Damascus, October 3, his agreement with Badeau’s position on Syrian recognition as reflected in telegram 611 from Cairo. (Ibid., 786B.00/10–361)
  3. In telegram 611 from Cairo, October 1, Badeau advised that once the Syrian regime demonstrated effective control of the country, the United States should extend only de facto recognition after a delay of 2–3 weeks. The United States should extend de jure recognition only after a significant number of Arab and other non-Western oriented states had done so, and preferably delay this action as long as possible. (Ibid., 786B.00/10–161)
  4. In telegram 622 from Cairo, October 2, Badeau strongly reaffirmed his recommendation in telegram 611 to delay recognition of the new Syrian regime. (Ibid., 786B.00/10–261)