WASHINGTON (Nov. 2)
Jordanian Ambassador Abdul Rifai met with Henry A. Byroade, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, today, to raise a question involving Jerusalem and the presentation of credentials by Edward B. Lawson, new American Ambassador to Israel.
After talking with Mr. Byroade for 55 minutes, Rifai told reporters that his conversation pertained to “a new subject,” the presentation of credentials by the American Ambassador “which is said to take place in Jerusalem. ” He said “the Arab representatives in Washington, on behalf of their governments, are dealing seriously with the State Department in regard to this matter.”
He said the question was of “major concern and importance to the Arabs and the Arab world.” This is due, he said, “to the special status of Jerusalem” and will have “special implications and repercussions.”
(Ambassador Lawson arrived at Haifa this morning and was met by American Embassy officers and representatives of the Israel Foreign Ministry, He refused to comment on the Israel political scene, but told newsmen that he had come to Israel without preconceived ideas and with an “open heart and open eyes. “)
It was learned from diplomatic sources that the Arab point stressed today was that a presentation of credentials by Ambassador Lawson in Jerusalem would tend to give legality to the Israel claim that Jerusalem is the rightful capital of Israel. The Jordan Government has maintained that Jerusalem belongs to Jordan. Some difference exists, however, in the view on Jerusalem held by Jordan and the other member states of the Arab League which have in the past called for internationalization.