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354. Backchannel Message From Secretary of State Kissinger to the Ambassador to Jordan (Brown)1

Please make an appointment with the King as soon as possible and convey to him the following points:

—We recently received a request from the Palestine Liberation Organization to meet with them to hear their views.

—In response to this request and through the intermediary of King Hassan II, we sent an intelligence officer to Rabat to meet with a representative of the PLO.2

—Our representative was under explicit instructions simply to listen to the presentation of the PLO representative and convey the message to us. No proposals of any kind were put forward by the U.S. side.

—Our representative did make clear, however, that there were certain fundamental considerations on which U.S. policy toward a Middle East settlement would rest:

—We would not consider any settlement which might threaten any vital interests of Jordan.

—The special and longstanding bonds of friendship between the United States and Jordan would guide U.S. attitudes toward settlement of the Palestinian problem.

—We would not countenance any proposal which envisioned the destruction of Israel.

—While nothing of substance was set forth by the PLO representative, our impression is that the PLO is probing to ascertain the U.S. attitude toward the Palestinian issue in the peace negotiations.

—Assure the King that we will arrive at a position on the Palestinian question only after the closest consultation with him and strictly within the frame-work of our discussions.

—The U.S. intends to work closely with Jordan on all aspects of the peace negotiations which lie ahead.

—Please thank the King once again on my behalf for the generous hospitality and friendship shown me during my recent visit to Amman.

Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 137, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan/Rifai, January 3, 1973. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. A note on the message indicates that it was received in the White House Situation Room at 1:40 p.m. on November 23.
  2. See Document 318.