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

57631. Subj: Letter from President to King Hussein. Please deliver following letter from President Nixon to King Hussein.

[Page 801]


Your Majesty:

Thank you very much for your letter of March 272 which Ambassador Brown forwarded to me. I followed with interest the talks my representatives had with Prince Hassan during his visit to Washington, and I was pleased to hear that his visit was a pleasant and rewarding one for all concerned.

The problems which you outlined in your letter are of great personal concern to me. I recall our mutual efforts over past years to promote the independence of Jordan’s economy and the strength of its political structure.

I also recall the impressive growth Jordan was experiencing before the June 1967 war and the great promise it held for the future. With the situation now somewhat different, I can well appreciate that you have your hands full endeavoring to meet your most immediate financial problems.

I certainly want to be helpful, within the limits of resources available. Therefore, in the light of your country’s acute financial situation, I have decided to arrange for dols 15 million in supporting assistance funds to be made available to Jordan in early July; and I have proposed that an additional sum of dols 15 million in supporting assistance be made available to Jordan at a later date during this calendar year on the assumption it will be needed. This action is, of course, subject to the usual Congressional appropriation process.3

Both our countries will continue to face difficult choices among competing demands for limited resources. Accordingly, I am sure we will both wish to continue our useful dialogue on how these can best be [Page 802] used. In due time, I will propose that our experts consult with yours to be sure that the steps being taken to address your government’s financial problems are the most effective possible.

With warm personal regards,


Richard Nixon

End quote

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 757, Presidential Correspondence 1969–1974, Jordan King Hussein Corres. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Seelye and Lloyd W. Sutherland (PA); cleared by Pickering, Hartman, and MacDonald (AID); cleared in substance by Jeanne Davis; and approved by Sisco.
  2. In the letter, Hussein first thanked Nixon for his March 3 message to him and then proceeded to raise the issue of Jordan’s economic and financial difficulties, which he described as “the most pressing of all the problems we are facing now.” He also addressed the discussions in Washington between U.S. officials and a Jordanian delegation led by Crown Prince Hassan during the first week of March. This included the promise made by Sisco that the United States would “do its best” to cover the Government of Jordan’s budget deficit, calculated to be $30 million “above and beyond Saudi and Kuwaiti subsidies” to Jordan. In the end, Hussein asked for Nixon’s “personal attention in expediting Congressional consultations and Departmental negotiations, in order to arrive at a firm commitment regarding United States assistance in the present crisis.” (Ibid., Box 616, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, Vol. VII)
  3. In telegram 57630 to Amman, April 6, the Department instructed the Embassy to make several additional points on behalf of the United States regarding its aid package to Jordan, including: “We do not rpt not presume to judge what GOJ’s priorities should be at this time, but we do believe that Jordan’s case for future assistance will be enhanced to the extent it demonstrates financial responsibility.” The instruction continued: “We thus see it as incumbent on GOJ to take very painful measures to cut back, reducing JAFP spending to the JD 32.3 million level now budgeted and ensuring that disbursements under the Quote development Unquote budget are made strictly in accordance with priorities assigned by GOJ.” (Ibid.)