PARIS (Dec. 15)
King Hussein of Jordan told the Parliament of Europe in Strassbourg today that the new agreements recently concluded between the United States and Israel threatened to make the Middle East the scene of a superpowers confrontation and urged the Europeans to “play a positive role to help defuse an explosive situation.”
According to the Jordanian monarch, the U.S.-Israel agreements have “created a new situation in the region. The danger is no longer that of local or limited clashes between the Syrians, the Israelis and the PLO but of a possible confrontation between the two superpowers that could involve the use of deadly weapons.”
Hussein seemed to be calling for a new European initiative in the Middle East when he observed that the “Israeli-American cooperation plan has destroyed U.S. credibility in the area.” He said it also runs counter to President Reagan’s peace initiative of September 1, 1982 “because it stipulates American funding for further Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in Gaza.”
Hussein reiterated his earlier invitation to PLO chief Yasir Arafat to “come to Jordan whenever he wants with no prior conditions.” At his meeting with President Francois Mitterrand of France here yesterday, Hussein, according to Palestinian sources, urged France not to back out of its original offer to provide a naval escort for Greek vessels that would evacuate Arafat and some 4,000 of his PLO fighters from Tripoli in northern Lebanon, under the protection of the United Nations flag.