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

207370. Subject: Message From King. Ref: Amman’s 5568.2 For Ambassador From Secretary.

[Page 601]

1. Please convey following personal message to King Hussein from Secretary Kissinger:

“I am responding to your letter of 18 October promptly at a most delicate and crucial moment in our efforts to end hostilities and lay the groundwork for a just and durable settlement in the Middle East. As you know, we have been engaged in intensive discussions with the Soviets and the Egyptians with a view to bringing about a prompt ceasefire in conditions conducive to a fundamental settlement.

Your Majesty, I know the dilemmas you face are surely greater than those of any other Arab leader. The President and I both know this, and we have drawn great reassurance from the strength of your leadership and the clarity of your vision of our common interests. War can cloud men’s reason and weaken their grasp. You have proved equal to the task. You have our admiration, and I am convinced that history will confirm a crucial role in any fair settlement to Jordan’s prudence and restraint in these difficult times. As difficult as it is, I am confident that His Majesty will maintain his position of statesmanship.

2. Second, our desires and hopes for a peaceful settlement are stronger today than ever before. In all the many consultations I have had in recent days the interests of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan have been very much in the fore. I realize, as your message indicates, your special responsibilities to the Palestinian people. We seek for Jordan and for you permanent and honorable expression of these responsibilities.

3. I know Your Majesty with all of your experience and wisdom that you will appreciate that I am engaged in delicate and complex discussions. I want you to know specifically what I am doing. We are talking to the Soviets with a view to agreeing to a SC resolution which calls for a ceasefire in place to be followed promptly by negotiations between the parties on a fundamental settlement. In such a settlement, Your Majesty, it is inconceivable that the interests of Jordan, which you so eloquently explained to me, would not be fully protected. I give you a formal assurance to this effect.

4. Your Majesty, we believe that a new strategic situation has been created—a situation in which the necessity of a political settlement is becoming clearer to all parties and in which it will be less difficult for the U.S. to exercise effective and constructive influence.

5. Your Majesty, the U.S. knows who its friends are. There can and will be no settlement without the fullest consultation between us. Your views will, I can assure you, be given the full weight they deserve.

6. During this difficult period in which our intensive diplomatic efforts are continuing, I urge you to maintain the confidence in what we are seeking to accomplish. I need that confidence and Your Majesty’s [Page 602]steady support more than ever in the days ahead. With warmest regards.3


  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 618, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, IX, January–October 1973. Secret; Flash; Nodis; Cherokee. Drafted and approved by Kissinger.
  2. Not found.
  3. In telegram 5574 from Amman, October 19, Brown reported that he had delivered the Secretary’s letter to the King, who had been very appreciative and said that he knew his American friends understood his problems. Hussein said that he saw no signs of an improving situation in Syria and was concerned about the widening Israeli bridgehead west of Suez. He believed this would generate great pressures on him to open a Jordanian-Israeli front, which he knew would be suicide. (Ibid.) Telegram 208155 to Amman, October 19, transmitted a message from Kissinger to Hussein, saying that he was leaving that night for talks in Moscow on the current situation in the Middle East. Kissinger stated that he would seek an immediate end to the fighting on a basis that would make possible early progress toward a final, just, and lasting peace and he reiterated that Jordan’s interests would be fully protected. (Ibid.)