62. Backchannel Message From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Jordanian King Hussein1

Dr. Kissinger has asked that the following answers to King Hussein’s recent queries2 be conveyed.

The US supports the Lebanese Government in its current effort and welcomes the assistance that King Hussein has provided. It notes with appreciation His Majesty’s offer to use the Jordanian C–130 to de[Page 187]liver arms and ammunition to Lebanon if necessary. There is no present need, but we are discussing with the Lebanese some possible new shipments, and we shall keep the King’s offer actively in mind.

Regarding the forthcoming UN Security Council debate on the Middle East, we do not yet have a clear picture of what situation will develop there. Our concern is to avoid a situation which will make it more difficult to begin the negotiating process which, as the King knows, the US regards as essential to any movement toward peace. Experience has shown the US that it takes time and quiet diplomacy to develop a sound negotiating process, and the US would be concerned over any exercise which tended to divert energy from such a process. At the United Nations, the US has an interest in avoiding any outcome that would create a virtually useless new diplomatic mechanism or unbalance the negotiating framework which Resolution 242 provides. Any help King Hussein can give in that general direction at this point will be appreciated.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 137, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan/Rifai, January 3, 1973. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.
  2. In telegram Tohak 54/13268 to Paris, May 18, Scowcroft reported to Kissinger that Hussein had asked two questions. Hussein reported that Jordan had received an urgent request for ammunition from the Chief of Staff of the Lebanese Army, and that he had sent 50 aircraft rockets in response and was planning on sending another 250 rockets by May 15. He asked if his policy of aiding Lebanon in any way he could coincided with that of the United States. Hussein also noted that, while awaiting a substantive move on the part of the United States, he had not yet taken a strong position at the United Nations regarding the forthcoming UN Security Council debate on the Middle East. He now wondered whether he should take a different tack. (Ibid., Box 34, Kissinger Trip Files, Secretary’s File, TOHAK–HAKTO [3 of 3])