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233. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

5635. Subject:Cease-Fire.

1. Have just talked to King, urging him to accept cease-fire completely in Syria and in Jordan.2 His present position is that at 1900 (one hour from now) Jordan announces that it accepts SC resolution and cease-fire in Jordan and that so far as its forces in Syria are concerned they are under Syrian command.3 I argued long with King that this is not acceptable; what he is doing is letting his policy be determined by Syria which, in turn could be basing its policy on (a) non-acceptance in past of 242 and (2) presence of Iraqi forces. It would be ironic and non-understandable in history for Jordan to enter Syria with its forces in order to thwart Iraqis and then have its policy on ME peace determined by those Iraqis. I also said that I understood that military plans of Syrians called for Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian attack at dawn. Said Jordanian participation in such attack, a few hours after cease-fire, could be disaster for us all.

2. I asked King to phone Assad once more and try to get better understanding from him. Said I assumed that Soviets in touch with Assad in as much as Sadat has already announced that Soviets had contacted him. Seemed to me that Assad owed King some info.

3. Cannot tell what effect this had. King (and later Hassan) took it all in. They both feel like pawns in an immensely large chess game where no one has told them what the rules are.

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4. I suspect King will do nothing at this moment but await Syrian Government’s announcement. He suggested we get in touch later this evening.

5. As I left, I reiterated one point: for God’s sake, do not let your army get into a fruitless attack tomorrow morning and have the wrath of the world descend on you.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 618, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, IX, January–October 1973. Secret; Flash; Exdis. Also sent Flash to Tel Aviv and USUN, and Immediate to Cairo, Beirut, London, and Jidda.
  2. In telegram 5632 from Amman, October 22, 0939Z, Brown reported that he had asked the King if Jordan accepted the Security Council resolution in full and Hussein confirmed that it did. (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram Tohak 102, October 22, 1812Z, Scowcroft informed Kissinger that he had just received a memorandum concerning Hussein’s dilemma over Syrian and Iraqi reactions to the cease-fire. The King said that he was deeply concerned over Iraq’s continued deployment of troops into Syria and its announcement that it would not accept a cease-fire. He stated that he was determined that the Iraqis would not be allowed to pass through Jordanian lines at the front or through Jordanian territory. Hussein felt, however, that he could not pull his troops out of Syria at that time nor remove them from Syrian command. Therefore, if Asad did not accept the cease-fire, he would announce that although Jordan itself supported the cease-fire, the Jordanian troops in Syria would remain under Syrian command. (Ibid., Kissinger Office Files, Box 39, Kissinger Trip Files, HAK Trip—Moscow, Tel Aviv, London, TOHAK 61–123, Oct. 20–23, 1973)