Washington (Nov. 5)
While the Reagan Administration failed to convince King Hussein of Jordan to join the Camp David peace process, it maintained today that it had restored the “confidence and relationship of trust” that has traditionally existed between the United States and Jordan.
A senior State Department official, in briefing newsmen about Hussein’s four-day visit to Washington, noted that relations between the United States and Jordan had been “very cool” during the Carter Administration, although he did not mention that the reason was Jordan’s opposition to the Camp David process. Hussein left today for Los Angeles after a working lunch at Blair House with Secretary of State Alexander Haig.
The senior official said today that during Hussein’s talks with President Reagan and other members of the Administration, both confirmed support for the achievement of a Middle East peace based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. The official quickly added that 242 is also the basis for the Camp David talks which, he stressed, was the framework for the United States efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.
STRESSES U. S. ADHERENCE TO CAMP DAVID
The official maintained that the Camp David talks are the only method the United States is using to achieve peace in the Middle East. He refused to make any comment on the Administration position on the eight-point peace plan proposed by Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia but suggested looking up previous Administration statements which said there were some positive elements in the Fahd plan but other points were ones to be negotiated. He said neither the Fahd plan nor the initiative proposed by the European Economic Community (EEC) were American plans.
“We have not been trying to do anything but to continue our commitment to Camp David,” he said. The official disclosed that Jordan has agreed to buy an air defense system from the Soviet Union, reportedly SAM-6 missiles. He said that the United States is the major arms supplier for Jordan and that the purchase from Soviet Russia could “complicate” this ongoing supply relationship. But the official seemed to imply that the United States understood the need for Jordan to buy the air defense system from the Soviets.
He said also that although Hussein expressed concern about what he considered a threat from Israel, the U. S. believes Jordan’s main worry is a threat from Syria.
Jordan turned to the Soviets because it wanted a mobile air defense system, the official said. The United States has only been willing to offer a stationary system to prevent its being used against Israel. The official said the U. S. considers the West Bank occupied territory. He noted that the Camp David agreements required that three years after the autonomy agreement goes into effect, negotiations will begin about the future status of the territory.