204. Information Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1

Mr. President:

Herewith a most sensitive document2 indicating:

  • —A 17 July meeting in London between Herzog and the Jordanian Foreign Minister;
  • —Agreement in principle to a Hussein-Eshkol meeting in the Eilat-Aqaba area later, if Hussein concludes such a meeting could be conducted securely.

Also attached is a conversation of Ball’s with Bunche,3 which indicates that: [Page 395]

  • Jarring received a much more forthcoming proposal from Cairo than he had expected;
  • —The Soviets may be pushing the Jarring mission rather than trying to force a Security Council confrontation;
  • George Ball’s conclusion is that we must now get a more forthcoming position from Israel with respect to direct negotiations, plus “an indication as to where Israel considers secure boundaries should be drawn.”

A good deal hinges on Nasser’s discussions in Moscow next week.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Jordan, Vol. V, Memos, 9/68-1/69. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. A handwritten notation indicates that the memorandum was received at 1:20 p.m.
  2. Reference is to a June 29 memorandum from Richard Helms to President Johnson updating information on the contacts in London between Israeli and Jordanian officials. (Ibid.) Another copy is in the Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80-B01285A, DCI (Helms) Files, Chrono 1 Jan-31 Jul 1968.
  3. Telegram 5797 from USUN, June 28, reporting a June 28 conversation between Ball and Ralph Bunche, was attached. Another copy is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-1969, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR.