312. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan1

269779. Subject: Your Audience With King Hussein. Ref: Amman 7393.2

Following may be used by Ambassador in audience with King Hussein:

Next steps in Jarring Mission. Re Jarring Mission, you may draw as appropriate on telegrams reporting developments in New York. Suggest you state that, while there has not been as much progress as we had hoped for, we think indirect exchanges between parties and various bilateral conversations have been very useful. Most important thing at this stage is to maintain and accelerate what momentum has developed and keep Jarring exercise going. In this connection we pleased that, although Rifai and Riad leaving New York both have indicated they and govts intend continue cooperate with Jarring. Jarring seems determined make no move that would jeopardize continuation his mission. We plan continue maintain closest contact with Jarring and parties. You may also repeat assurances given King in New York Nov. 1967 concerning territorial aspects of settlement, including point that U.S. prepared support return of West Bank to Jordan with minor boundary rectifications. In discussing foregoing, you requested ascertain from King his views re ways in which Jordan might justify Israel’s security requirements on West Bank. What formula would GOJ be prepared to accept? For example, would GOJ accept proposition of joint GOJ-GOI patrols perhaps made up of security police rather than military? Assure King that you are only making informal probes on this subject and that you are only seeking his preliminary views.3
Internal Defense. You may reassure King of our desire be as helpful as possible re strengthening GOJ’s internal defense capability. In this connection you may wish mention inter alia our intention dispatch on TDY specialist in riot control, our continued willingness assist in training, and our readiness sell and expedite shipment of equipment which GOJ may wish purchase from U.S. King might be advised to order needed equipment promptly view lapse of shipping time. FYI. Appears to us that the ball is now in GOJ’s court. AMC’s message No. 38135 and DA message No. 8845534 gave Embassy information on price and availability of various items of equipment for use by security forces. We await GOJ response in wake your further consultations. We note parenthetically that the GOJ has not yet responded to price and availability quotations which UK provided expeditiously in August (London 13887).5 End FYI.
Possible interest of Hussein in visiting U.S. for talks with President-elect. You should not raise subject but if Hussein expresses interest in visiting U.S., you should indicate that you will seek advice from Department on question of visits to President and President-elect in period prior to inauguration. FYI. Mr. NIXON’s wishes on receiving foreign dignitaries prior to inauguration not yet known. End FYI.
Possible Arab Summit Conference in November. If King seeks your advice re convening of Arab Summit, suggest you seek discourage such a move at this time. You might note tendency of most past Arab summits to adopt extreme Arab positions and point to risk that Summit decision in context Arab-Israeli problem likely reduce Arab negotiating flexibility in connection Jarring effort. FYI. We propose you not make too strong a case against convening Arab Summit since this, after all, is King’s business, not ours. He may have his own strong views and, if so, we would not wish make an issue out of this. We recall Hussein’s desire over past several months to convene another Arab Summit conference for purpose of renewing mandate for Arabs to seek political solution to Middle East crisis. We also recollect that Hussein hoped to use such a conference to achieve Arab intergovernmental coordination on bringing fedayeen under control. We seriously doubt that an Arab Summit would achieve these laudable goals. We fear that another summit at this time is more likely to harden Arab public positions on an approach to a settlement with Israel, thereby further reducing [Page 621] Hussein’s and perhaps Nasser’s negotiating flexibility at this particularly critical juncture in Jarring mission. Hussein, of course, must make his own decision on pros and cons of calling for the convening another Arab Summit. We note that other Arab leaders, particularly King Faysal, have consistently opposed convening of another Arab Summit. End FYI.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Seelye, Paganelli, and Jones; cleared by Sisco, Atherton, Davies, and Harold Saunders; and approved by Katzenbach.
  2. In telegram 7393 from Amman, November 8, Symmes cabled that he intended to seek an audience with King Hussein at the earliest opportunity. He asked whether the Department had any guidance for him with regard to the following issues: “1. Next steps for the Jarring mission? 2. Internal defense. 3. Possible interest of Hussein in visiting U.S. for talks with President-elect. 4. Possible Arab summit conference in November.” (Ibid.)
  3. Ambassador Symmes met with King Hussein on November 9 and made the points and offered the assurances authorized in paragraph 1 of this telegram. Hussein expressed gratitude for the reassurances, and said that with respect to exchanges with Israel, there was not much that Jordan could do unless Israel came forward with enough substance to justify proceeding to the next steps. (Telegram 7409 from Amman, November 11; ibid.)
  4. Neither found.
  5. In telegram 13887 from London, October 29, the Embassy reported that it had received from the Foreign Office a list of the items that made up the final element of the arms procurement package that Saudi Arabia was prepared to finance for Jordan. The arms were to be purchased from British sources. Major items included 100 Centurion tanks and 100 105-mm “up-gunning” kits. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, DEF 12-5 JORDAN)