Envoy Says Jordan-israel Talks Possible if Israel Withdraws Troops

An official Jordanian Government spokesman has, for the first time, said that Jordan would be willing to sit down and negotiate a permanent settlement with Israel involving mutual recognition and economic cooperation. A primary condition, however, he said, must be the removal of Israeli forces from the Jordanian territory Israel has occupied.

Ambassador Farhan Shubeilat, of Jordan, said today in an exclusive interview with the Washington Post that “talk between Israel and Jordan would be easy after Israeli troops are withdrawn from Jordan’s territory” He said that in the presence and under the guarantee of a third party, “it would even be possible for us to accept the 1947 partition of Palestine and existence of Israel.”

He said, however, that Jordan would never negotiate “under the edge of the sword” while Israeli forces remained in disputed areas, and he warned that “we will not accept any agreement that takes away our part of Jerusalem.” That part of the partition plan, he said, was not negotiable.

Ambassador Shubeilat, who is leaving Washington to assume another diplomatic post, said that the talks could lead to a settlement of the Akaba Gulf and Suez Canal transit issues. He said “there is no reason why Israel should not have free passage” and predicted that “such issues should not raise much difficulty in future.”

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