294. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Helms to President Johnson 1
Washington, October 28, 1968.
- Secret Israel-Jordan Negotiations
- Since the last hours of the June war of 1967 senior Israeli officials, including Eshkol and Dayan, have demonstrated a willingness to meet directly with King Hussein. A secret meeting in Switzerland planned in July 1967 was cancelled at a late moment [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] when the U.S. terminated an emergency communications channel between the two parties that had been established during hostilities and used by both parties after the war in making arrangements for a clandestine Switzerland meeting. A second top level meeting arranged through direct Israel-Jordan contacts developed in early 1968 and scheduled for 8 August 1968 in the Gulf of Aqaba was cancelled [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] following Israel air attacks on Salt, Jordan on 4 August. The series of preliminary secret meetings in London have once again produced agreement for a top level secret meeting in the Gulf of Aqaba. The date of 7 November 1968 has been set; the arrangements will be checked out in a trial run [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] on 31 October. Both dates fall on a Thursday, the eve of the Jordanian weekend which provides some cover for a visit to Aqaba.
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- While there has been some increase in press and public speculation about contacts between Amman and Tel Aviv outside of the Jarring effort and Israeli officials have with a wide circle of American officials flatly asserted that direct Jordan-Israel talks are taking place, we [Page 580] are at this time unaware of any actual compromise of detailed and accurate information on the recent and planned contacts.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt W. Rostow, Arab-Israeli Private Talks. Secret; Eyes Only. A copy was sent to Secretary Rusk.↩