PARIS (Sep. 5)
King Hussein of Jordan arrived here today for a two-day official visit during which he will try to enlist France’s and Western Europe’s support for pressure on Israel to stop establishing new settlements in the West Bank. The King, who was greeted at Orly Airport by French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, is also looking for support for his plans for a Palestinian-Jordan federation which he will head. The Arabs believe that though Western Europe does not play a decisive role in the Middle East, it has influence in both Washington and Moscow.
The French government has in recent months shifted its position from advocating a Palestinian state to calling for the creation of a “homeland” without defining its exact political status. Hussein reportedly hopes to win French and eventually West European approval for his federation plans.
The King, who will be the guest of honor at a state banquet tonight at the Elysee Palace, will have some four hours of talks with Giscard. French arms for Jordan are not expected to be discussed. The King has not brought with him his minister of defense nor his army chief of staff. Jordan has neither the money nor the desire to acquire French hardware, relying for most of its weaponry on Britain.
Politically, the two countries have relatively similar stands on the Middle East, with France openly condemning the spread of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. A joint communique is expected to stress this common position. The King’s official visit is due to end tomorrow.