506. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel1

280026. Ref: Tel Aviv 6157.2 Subj: Territorial Assurances to Jordan.

The following, FYI, is full text of memorandum of November 6, 19673 referred to in Amman 7409:4
“On instructions from Ambassador GoldbeRG King Hussein was told the following on the afternoon of November 5 just prior to the King’s meeting with Ambassador Goldberg:
‘The draft resolution which Ambassador Goldberg has presented is the best language vis-à-vis the Arabs which the United States Government can support. A resolution which the United States Government cannot support will be a meaningless document, since it is going to require US influence on Israel to achieve the objectives of any resolution. Furthermore, the resolution which Ambassador Goldberg has presented is the best the United States can do today. There is no guarantee that the United States could support such a favorable resolution next month or the month after. The Arabs have consistently made the mistake of rejecting resolutions which they later wished they had accepted. By rejecting this resolution they may be making the same mistake again. The United States as a matter of policy does not envisage a Jordan which consists only of the East Bank. The United States is prepared to support a return of the West Bank to Jordan with minor boundary rectifications. However, the US would use its influence to obtain compensation to Jordan for any territory it is required to give up. For example, if Jordan is required to give up the Latrun salient, the USG will use its influence to obtain in compensation access for Jordan to a Mediterranean port in Israel. Finally, although as a matter of policy we do not agree with Jordan’s position on Jerusalem, nor do we agree with [Page 999] the Israeli position on Jerusalem, we are prepared to use our influence to obtain for Jordan a role in Jerusalem. In short, we are prepared to make a maximum effort to obtain for Jordan the best possible deal in terms of settlement with Israel. We can only do this under the United Nations resolution and the present resolution is the maximum that we can support. Therefore, the best advice that the United States can give Jordan at this time is to accept this resolution and to rely on our promises that under it we will help Jordan get the best possible settlement.’
The King asked whether this could be viewed as a commitment by the United States. He was told that the exact language as to what this was should be obtained from the Secretary or the President. Whether it was a commitment or a promise should be left for someone else to specify. Later the Jordanians stated that they were prepared to accept this advice, but they pointed out that what they were doing by accepting it was to sacrifice previous Arab insistence on certain resolution language which they felt protected their position in return for a promise from the USG.”
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Atherton, cleared by UNP Deputy Director Arthur R. Day and Jordan Country Director Talcott W. Seelye, and approved by Davies.
  2. Telegram 6157 from Tel Aviv, November 20, 1968. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB–ISR)
  3. No other copy of the memorandum has been found.
  4. In telegram 7409 from Amman, November 11, 1968, Ambassador Symmes reported a November 9 conversation with King Hussein. Symmes stated that in accordance with the Department’s instructions that he could repeat the assurances given Hussein in New York a year earlier, he had read to him verbatim the assurances contained in the memorandum dated November 6, 1967. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR) For the instructions, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XX, Document 312.