JERUSALEM (Sep. 13)
Israeli officials expressed skepticism today over the possible revival of the “Eastern Front” against Israel by Egypt, Syria and Jordan. They said despite the fact that Cairo and Damascus have announced their resumption of diplomatic relations with Jordan, there were no indications that the three countries reached any military agreement.
The announcement of renewed diplomatic ties was made Tuesday following a meeting in Cairo between President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad and King Hussein of Jordan. Israeli officials said there were no grounds to believe that Hussein agreed to open his territory once more to Palestinian guerrillas If any of the parties made concessions, it was the Syrians and Egyptians, the Israeli sources said.
Egypt broke relations with Jordan last April when Hussein announced a plan for the federation of the West Bank with Jordan. Syria broke with Amman after Jordanian forces decimated the guerrillas in a series of bloody battles two years ago. Israeli sources said that Cairo was smoothing its relations with Hussein because of pressure from King Faisal of Saudi Arabia who has been striving to end Jordan’s isolation from the rest of the Arab world.
According to the Cairo communique, the three Arab leaders resolved to continue their contacts to achieve agreement on some sort of unified action against Israel. But nothing concrete emerged, the Israeli officials said. One source here cautioned, however, that “none of us knows what the secret agreement is, and Hussein has surprised us in the past.”