Israel and Transjordan Start Secret Peace Talks; Top Officials of Both Countries Meet

Secret negotiations for an Israel-Transjordan peace treaty have taken place between two high-ranking Israel Government officials and Transjordan Foreign Minister Ruhi Bey Abdul Hadi, it was learned here last night.

The talks, which ranged over the entire gamut of problems facing the two nations in their relations with each other and with the other nations interested in the Palestine problem, were the first direct negotiations ever held among top-level Israel and Transjordan officials. They were described as having reached the “practical stage.” The concrete results of these talks, however, are not expected to be seen for another month or six weeks, it was reported.

Meanwhile, the military representatives of both nations met yesterday and eliminated several problems which had been causing friction between the opposing armies. Most of the problems concerned nomadic Bedouin tribes living in the general area southwest of Jerusalem. Their status was settled satisfactorily.

Haaretz, independent Hebrew newspaper, today reports that a basis has been reached for a peace agreement between Israel and Transjordan by the representatives of the two government. The utmost secrecy envelops the preliminary principles agreed upon, the paper says, adding that good prospects exist for peace being reached in the near future. The article stresses, however, that the decisive factor in the situation is Great Britain.

Haaretz believes that current London policy is backing King Abdullah’s aspirations to conclude peace with Israel. “After the Jerusalem issue in the United Nations demonstrated Abdullah’s isolation in the Arab world, London sees him as left with no alternative but to insure his present boundaries and maintain good relations with Israel,” the paper says. Absorption of Arab Palestine into Transjordan is one of Abdullah’s points which may have British support, the paper believes, but warns that this and other British-sponsored demands might be resisted by Israel.

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