PARIS (Mar. 8)
King Hussein of Jordan holds the United States responsible for the influx of Soviet Jewish immigrants into Israel, which he perceives as a threat to the Palestinians.
The United States has been active for years seeking the right for Jews to leave the Soviet Union. It should now accept the consequences and accept them on American soil, Hussein said in an interview published Thursday in Le Figaro.
Meanwhile, in a television interview here, the Jordanian king confirmed that he and Labor Party leader Shimon Peres did in fact have a secret meeting in London in 1988, when U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz was deeply engaged in Middle East diplomacy.
According to Hussein, he and Peres, who was then Israel’s foreign minister, reached an agreement providing for a “Jordanian solution” in the administered territories and a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan.
But Peres failed to seize the opportunity and never implemented their agreement, Hussein charged.
In the Figaro interview, Hussein was also critical of the Arab world, which he said remains disunited and has made no coordinated response to the problem.
Hussein said the Palestine Liberation Organization has his full support in its approach to peace negotiations with the Israelis. The Palestinians “have been highly reasonable, and have made all possible concessions” to get the peace process moving, Hussein said.
Israel, on the other hand, “is asking something which, as far as I know, is unprecedented in history: the right to choose its negotiating partners,” he told Le Figaro.
The Jordanian ruler is seeking Western support for an Arab campaign to curtail the emigration of Soviet Jews. He left for London on Tuesday, to ask Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to use her friendship with the White House and the U.S. administration for that purpose.