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

156687. For Ambassador. In a private meeting, Ambassador Rabin told Under Secretary Rostow that he hoped to have something tangible to report about private talks with Hussein within a week. Thus far the contacts have been preliminary. FYI. Rostow had suggested to Evron several weeks ago that we thought the time might be approaching for Israel to make secret contact with Hussein. In view of reports from Amman of Jordanian interest in such talks, and indications that there was motion on that front, we had been carefully studying your telegrams on the subject, and considering various contingencies. We prefer to wait until asked before offering our good offices. End FYI.

Rabin also gave Israeli evaluation of recent Cabinet changes in Jordan [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. In sum, Israelis believe King sought to dismiss Talhouni, who refused to resign. Cabinet changes stem from Hussein’s backing down before Talhouni threat. GOI reads changes as replacement of key officials loyal to King by men primarily connected with Talhouni.

Rusk
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR/SANDSTORM. Secret; Nodis; Sandstorm. Drafted and approved by Eugene Rostow. Repeated to Tel Aviv, London, and USUN.