Washington (Nov. 3)
King Hussein of Jordan ended two days of talks with President Reagan today with both leaders declaring there was a need to move toward a comprehensive Middle East peace. But the United States has still not succeeded in persuading Jordan to join the Camp David process.
When Reagan was asked if he had gotten Hussein to move toward Camp David, the President first said “yes” but then said that they did not go into that subject. “We just became friends,” the President stressed to reporters as he was reentering the White House following the South Lawn departure ceremony for Hussein.
The Jordanian King, who has been visiting U.S. Presidents since Eisenhower, said today that his talks with Reagan, who he met for the first time yesterday, “has left me more reassured than in the past and more confident.” He made a similar comment during a toast last night at a State dinner at the White House.
Hussein is spending today and tomorrow in talks with members of Congress, apparently explaining his request for arms as well as pressing for U.S. support for Palestinian rights and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Fahd’s eight-point peace plan. Although he discussed these specific issues with Reagan and other Administration officials, he did not mention any of them in his public remarks.
FRIENDSHIP WITH JORDAN REINFORCED
Reagan said that the two days of talks with Hussein were “wide-ranging discussions about the dangers and opportunities we face in the Middle East.” He said that he and the Jordanian monarch “agreed an much; on the necessity of making progress toward a just, lasting and comprehensive Middle East peace; on the profound dangers which threaten the security of the region; and on the necessity to work in complementary ways to address the serious issues.”
The President, stressing that the friendship between Jordan and the United States was reinforced by the talks, declared “the security and well being of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a matter of historic and enduring concern to the United States.”
Hussein told Reagan that he could report to his people and his “colleagues” in the Mideast that he found that he and the U.S. President shared views on the need for a “just and comprehensive peace” in the Mideast, on the need to support “the freedom of the Arab people” and to “safeguard” their “identity,” and a belief in “a better future” for the people of the Mideast.
Hussein leaves Washington Thursday after a working lunch with Secretary of State Alexander Haig at Blair House where the Jordanian monarch is staying during his visit here.