Hussein Demands Israel’s Complete Withdrawal from All Territories; ‘independence’ for Palestinians
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Hussein Demands Israel’s Complete Withdrawal from All Territories; ‘independence’ for Palestinians

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King Hussein of Jordan reiterated today his uncompromising position that Israel must withdraw from all lands it occupied in the Six-Day War, including “Arab Jerusalem” and called for “national independence for the Palestinians” as conditions for peace in “our region.”

Speaking before the National Press Club, broadcast live by National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service Television on 1000 radio and television stations across the country, Hussein implied that the Soviet Union should become again involved in the proceedings for a settlement in the Middle East and warned that a separate peace between Israel and Egypt will not succeed in bringing about a solution.

Addressing himself to the American people, Hussein called on them to demand from their government a “balanced policy” toward the Arabs and Israelis. He said that the U.S. is depriving itself of relations in trade, energy and culture with the Arab people because of its peculiar and indefensible interpretation of commitment to Israel’s security that seems to equate security with conquest.”


Hussein claimed that “Jordan has been the most active country in search of a comprehensive settlement” since 1967, adding, “We warned against partial and separate settlements” and that “the essence cannot be ignored.” That, he said, was “Israel’s withdrawal from the territory it occupied in June, 1967” and it “cannot be separated from the exercise by the Palestinian people of the right to self-determination and national freedom on their national soil. The problem will not disappear if Egypt alone regains its occupied land,” Hussein said. “Syrian national territories are occupied. Gaza and the West Bank are occupied. Arab Jerusalem is occupied and officially, according to Israel, annexed,” he said.

He said that the Arab countries which, at Baghdad and Tunis had rejected the Camp David peace process, “aimed at restoring Arab cohesion and sense of purposes.” He said that at Tunis, those governments decided to send out envoys for a “just peace” but “this policy has been thwarted by Israeli settlements and repression of the last few months.” The governments he referred to were opposed to the Camp David process since it was initiated in September, 1978.

Hussein said, “We are also consulting with the Palestine Liberation Organization” and “the ultimate solution of the problem is that the Palestinian people must participate in constructing the peace we all want.” According to Hussein, “The key issue is the right of self-determination.” Without mentioning Israel, he added, “This need not contradict the rights of others in the area.” He urged that “Palestinian exiles” be permitted to unite with “those under occupation.”


The questions submitted to Hussein after his address did not include a request for confirmation of Assistant Secretary of State Harold Saunders’ statement to reporters yesterday that Hussein had given President Carter assurances that the PLO would not be permitted to raid Israel from Jordanian soil.

Calling on the “international community to mobilize now and immediately a process for a peaceful and free homeland” for the Palestinians, Hussein said “When peace is established, mutual guarantees for security can be bound into it.” He mentioned, in his prepared speech that the Europeans “have endorsed these basic elements” and that “our Palestinian brethren and all enlightened Arab opinion seeks such an honorable peace.”

He added that the U.S. can “share decisively” in the establishment of that kind of peace and that his purpose in coming to Washington is to “steer American policy toward the right goals.”

During the question period, the King avoided a question as to whether President Carter sought to persuade him to join the autonomy talks during their two days of meetings. He said his discussions with Carter had given him “fresh insight into the thoughts here.”

Hussein said the issue of Israel’s right to exist and Palestinian rights should be addressed to “both sides simultaneously.” Asked how, if he favors peace, he can support the PLO whose charter calls for the extinction of Israel, Hussein replied, “The PLO is basically for the restoration of the rights of the people of Palestine on Palestinian soil.” He acknowledged that “this is an issue difficult to answer, and remarked, “We tend to turn to extremism in our attitude when hope diminishes.”

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