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13. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon13

SUBJECT

  • Your Meeting with King Hussein—Summary of Main Points

King Hussein will have two main points on his mind:

1. He will request US support in moving Israel’s position to within negotiating range of Israel’s [Jordan’s] position on a peace agreement. His direct negotiations with Israel have so far not produced enough change in the Israeli position for him to be able to live with Israeli terms.

2. He will seek (a) a total of $80 million in budget support this year—$30 million of it before June—and (b) more military equipment.

In response, these are the main points for you to make:

1. We continue to regard King Hussein and a stable Jordan under his leadership as important in the movement toward a Middle East peace.

2. You regard this meeting as an opportunity to understand Hussein’s positions fully. We appreciate his keeping us informed (through Dick Helms) of his exchanges with Israel, but there is no substitute for hearing his views directly. What we hear will be an important part of our deciding how we should proceed.

3. Helping to move the Middle East towards peace will be an important issue on the agenda of your second administration. The issues that remain to be decided are how—not whether—we are to involve ourselves actively in that effort.

4. Your talk with Prime Minister Meir on March 1 will also be an important part of our deciding what strategy to follow. Therefore, you will want to be in touch with him again. You do not believe it would be wise to commit ourselves to any course of action before this round of talks is complete.

5. You, therefore, would like to hear King Hussein’s general assessment of the situation. Specifically:

—Under what circumstances, if any, would King Hussein feel Jordan could make peace with Israel before Egypt?

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—What does the King feel might be ways of bridging the present negotiating gaps with Israel?

[6. If there would be some advantage in hearing the King in more detail and this could be done without any commitment on our side, Dr. Kissinger might chat further with the King this afternoon.]2

7. On military aid, the State and Defense Departments are prepared this week to discuss an extension of the present three-year equipment modernization program beyond next year. This can help Jordan in two ways: (a) It will permit discussion of new equipment needs; (b) it will give Jordan the option for the first time of using some (perhaps $10 million) of our grant military aid to help meet operating costs and therefore help with the budget deficit. This might require stretching out some equipment deliveries, but our ability to extend the present program provides flexibility to do that.

8. On economic aid, we are in a position to provide $50 million in budget support in 1973. Together with grant military aid ($40 million) and loans for development projects ($10 million), this brings our overall aid to about $100 million. We would like to hold at that level now for two reasons: (a) We strongly feel that Jordan’s Arab friends have an obligation to do more. We have increased our aid and feel they should. (b) We are making a major effort to get our own budget under control and are anxious to help Jordan do the same. [We do have $15 million more in FY 1974 money, and we should be prepared to provide this ultimately.]3

In short, we will be discussing ways to move toward peace and details of military and economic assistance over the coming weeks. We will stay in close touch with King Hussein on both.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 929, VIP Visits, Jordan (King Hussein Visit), 6 Feb 1973. Secret. Sent for action. A stamped notation on the first page reads: “The President has seen.”
  2. Brackets in the original.
  3. Brackets in the original.