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

6510. Subject: King’s Comments on Geneva Conference. Ref: State 240807.2

1. I delivered Secretary’s message to King at noon Dec 8. He studied it with great care, reread it, and finally said that he was most appreciative of thoughts it contained. I have impression that, as far as King is concerned, Secretary’s message went a long way to alleviate uneasiness mentioned para 3 my tel 6468.3

2. In ensuing conversation, King seemed in mood to share some of his current worries. He repeated much of what he had said publicly at opening of Parliament December 1 and what PM Rifai had told me privately last week (my tel 6361).4 He said Jordan would “of course” attend Geneva peace conference and preparation of position papers for Jordanian delegation was now in full swing. He emphasized that negotiations in Geneva would obviously entail much “give and take” and he did not want Jordan to be held responsible for the “give” while “the others” (presumably Egypt, Syria and the PLO) were given credit for the “take”. It was essential, he said, that Egypt and Syria be fully associated with all decisions reached in Geneva with regard to West Bank, and that Palestinians be given a chance to determine freely their own future. If necessary, PLO reps could be included in Jordanian delegation but he could not accept view that PLO was spokesman for all Palestinians.

3. With regard to clarifications which he had said publicly he was awaiting on Arab summit conference decisions, King said his past experience with his Arab colleagues led him to believe that he should not appear to be too eager to seek such clarifications. He had just sent Ab al-Munim Rifai to sound out Sadat, however, and would await result of [Page 1040]this sounding before approaching Syria and perhaps PLO. He said he realized that these problems had to be sorted out by Arabs themselves, but he hoped Secretary, during his forthcoming tour of Middle East countries, might be able to help in bringing Syria and Egypt closer to Jordanian position.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 618, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, IX, January–October 1973. Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Cherokee.
  2. Telegram 240807 to Amman, December 8, transmitted a letter from Kissinger to Hussein responding to the King’s message sent in telegram 6464, December 6. (Ibid.) The Secretary apologized that he would not be in Washington when General Bin Shaker arrived, but assured the King that he was fully aware of the scope of the challenges Jordan faced and the importance of maintaining its military strength. Kissinger wrote that he was also fully conscious of the important role Jordan had been playing in the search for peace in the Middle East. Thus, the United States would do its best, within the limits set by Congress, to assist Jordan in meeting its defense needs. (Ibid.)
  3. Dated December 6. (Ibid.)
  4. Document 370.