331. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • The Situation in Jordan—1700 GMT, September 28

There are no new specific developments to report on the situation within Jordan. The cease-fire appears to be still generally holding up; there apparently has been no change in the situation in northern Jordan; there is nothing new on the remaining hostages; and Arab efforts to forge a more permanent settlement between King Hussein and the fedayeen continue. You may, however, be interested in some of the Israeli reflections on the current situation and our latest moves in mounting the relief effort.

The Director of the Research Department of the Israeli Foreign Minister believes that the Cairo agreement signed yesterday by King Hussein simply brings the situation back to what it was prior to the outbreak of fighting.2 He believes that Hussein’s agreement to mutual withdrawal of the army and the fedayeen from Amman gives the fedayeen a clear advantage since they will re-enter the city clandestinely and rebuild their bases. Because of this he expects the army to resist the Cairo agreement and continue on its own way. CIA analysts are also not very optimistic that the Cairo agreement will prove to be anything more than a “stopgap”.

The following are some of the more important measures we are taking on the relief effort:3

  • —All eight aircraft with the general purpose mobile hospital and four with food and medical supplies from Turkey have landed in Amman and unloaded. The hospital unit is awaiting arrival of Jordanian forces for escort to the hospital site. The aircraft have left Amman.
  • —Under Secretary Irwin held a special meeting this morning to coordinate our official relief efforts with those of private U.S. agencies.
  • —There is a possibility that the second hospital unit may not be needed. Embassy Amman will make clear that it is ready to come but that Jordanian needs govern.
  • —Apart from the above flights, one has flown from Beirut each day Sunday and Monday with a total of 22 tons of perishable foods and canned goods.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 615, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, Vol. V. Secret; Nodis. Sent for information. Printed from an uninitialed copy.
  2. For a summary of the Cairo agreement, see Document 330.
  3. In a September 27 memorandum to President Nixon, Haig explained the U.S. Government’s numerous efforts to provide relief for Jordan. These included $5 million in assistance, shipments of foodstuffs and medical supplies, and mobile hospitals. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 615, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, Vol. V)