215. Letter From President Carter to King Hussein of Jordan1

Your Majesty:

I have asked2 my Assistant for National Security Affairs, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General David Jones, to meet3 with you to insure even stronger bonds of friendship between our two countries. My own son4 is accompanying the delegation at my request to convey personal best wishes to you and to your family.

As should be the case between friends, consultations on matters of mutual concern are essential. Recent developments in the Middle East have raised questions which we need to assess together. Events in Iran, in Yemen, and, most recently, the agreement reached between Egypt and Israel, have introduced new realities into the region which affect the interests of your nation as well as my own. I am particularly anxious that we fully understand each other’s views on these matters.

As you know, Your Majesty, I am personally committed to work for a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, a peace which addresses the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. I well appreciate that this goal has not yet been achieved and that continued efforts will be required. Those who do not want to see a stable and peaceful

[Page 750]

Middle East will try to exploit the situation in the area to the detriment of the Arab peoples. We are not prepared to allow this to happen since our friendships and our interests require that the bonds of cooperation that have marked our relations in the past should continue in the future.

Dr. Brzezinski, who was with me on my recent visits to Egypt and Israel, will review with you my thinking on how the agreement between those two countries can serve as the cornerstone for a broader peace settlement in the area. I firmly believe that a stable pattern of peaceful relations can develop among all of our friends in the Middle East. This would greatly enhance our ability to meet the many challenges to stability from within and without the region.

Your Majesty, I know that you share my view that we must always look for opportunities to advance the cause of peace and to strengthen the bonds between our countries. This is a time for leadership and vision as we work together for a peaceful Middle East. I know that you will share your views frankly with the members of my personal delegation. I look forward to seeing you personally in May.

With my best personal regards,


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders File, Box 11, Jordan: King Hussein, 3/79–9/80. No classification marking.
  2. In a March 15 memorandum to Brzezinski, Christopher, and Jones, Carter outlined his instructions for their mission to Saudi Arabia and Jordan. In particular, he instructed them to “emphasize the following points”: 1) the “strong and enduring friendship which binds our nation” to Saudi Arabia and Jordan; 2) U.S. efforts in the “latest round” of Egyptian-Israeli negotiations remain directed toward the “goal of a comprehensive peace” and that the “imminent” agreement between Egypt and Israel is “only the first step toward a wider peace;” 3) the United States “understand that true peace cannot be achieved until the Palestinian issue is resolved;” 4) the “broad support” the U.S. peace initiative enjoys in Congress and among the U.S. public; 5) the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Jordan should understand the “strident criticism, political attacks, and economic sanctions” against Egypt “could only place new strains on our relationship with each nation;” 6) the United States wishes to “share” its view of the “strategic dangers” facing the Middle East; and 7) to this end, they should reiterate U.S. pledges for close security cooperation and consultation. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 67, Saudi Arabia: 1–3/79)
  3. See Document 219.
  4. James Earl “Chip” Carter III.