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

154413. 1. In view of developments re Syrian involvement, we are proceeding as follows:

We are calling in Soviets immediately and making a strong oral démarche warning against Syrian intervention in Jordan and insisting upon an immediate withdrawal of Syrian forces that have invaded Jordan with tanks in the north.2
We will put out a brief public statement focusing on the Syrian intervention and calling for withdrawal of its forces.3
For the time being we wish to keep in abeyance any call for SC meeting.4 For a SC meeting to be helpful to the Jordanians two conditions must be fulfilled: (1) situation on the ground must be such that an unconditional ceasefire would be favorable to the Jordanians; and (2) Jordanians themselves should request such a meeting. FYI. Our own thinking is that perhaps GOJ at this stage would still be reluctant to take such an initiative for fear of being accused taking this matter out of Arab context. If SC were convened, immediate focus would be on a ceasefire. Finally, there would be strong feeling in the Council for a call on all concerned not to intervene which would tend to preclude our own option in this regard. End FYI.

2. You may inform GOJ of the above.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 JORDAN. Secret; Flash. Drafted and approved by Sisco; and cleared by Rogers, Curran, and Kissinger. It was repeated Flash to Tel Aviv, Cairo, USUN, Beirut, London, Paris, and Moscow.
  2. Telegram 154417 to Moscow, September 20, 1742Z, transmitted the text of the note verbale. The note responded to the Soviet note of September 18. It condemned the Syrian intervention in Jordan and called upon the Soviet Union to insist that the Syrians withdraw. The note also warned “of the serious consequences which could ensue from a broadening of the conflict.” (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 619, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan Crisis) For the Soviet note of September 18, see Document 266.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 275.
  4. Telegram 154420 to Amman, September 20, 1015Z, instructed Ambassador Brown to call Rifai and explain to him that the United States did not want the Security Council to meet until after a Soviet response to the U.S. note verbale. Additionally, the U.S. Government believed the Security Council would call for a conditional cease-fire, which it assumed would be to the disadvantage of the Jordanian Government at that time. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 JORDAN)