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Bush Welcomes Jordanian King to U.S. and Pays Respects at Israeli Embassy

March 13, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

President Bush welcomed his old friend King Hussein back into the White House on Thursday and indicated that he has forgiven the Jordanian monarch for failing to back the U.S. effort to oust Iraq from Kuwait.

“I am just delighted to see his majesty again,” Bush said after Hussein arrived in the Oval Office.

“For years, we’ve had strong relations with Jordan. We know there are difficulties,” the president said, adding: “He is my friend, and I welcome him back here.”

The two leaders last met at Bush’s summer home in Maine shortly after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. At the time, Bush expressed disappointment that Hussein would not support the U.S. effort in the Persian Gulf.

On Thursday, the two met for an hour and then had lunch at the White House.

Afterward, Bush, Secretary of State James Baker, National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and aides drove several miles uptown to the Israeli Embassy, where Bush and the others signed a condolence book for former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who died Monday.

Upon the their return to the White House, Scowcroft was scheduled to brief reporters on the Hussein meeting.

But instead, the White House issued a statement in which it said that “the two leaders agreed on the importance of full Iraqi compliance with all (U.N.) Security Council resolutions.”

“King Hussein said that Jordan would continue to do its part,” the statement said.


Hussein had been suspected of helping Iraq evade the Security Council-imposed sanctions allowing goods for Iraq to come through Jordanian ports.

But when, at a photo opportunity, a reporter asked Hussein which side he was on, Bush interjected with his warm words for the king.

The White House statement also said there was considerable discussion of the peace process. Earlier, Bush said that “Jordan has taken a very courageous and forthright position on the peace talks, recognizing we should talk peace.”

Israeli sources have said that the talks with Jordan have shown the most progress of any of the separate negotiations Israel is carrying out with its three Arab neighbors and the Palestinians.

“The president stressed the importance of all parties continuing to participate in the Madrid process,” the White House statement said.

“The two agreed to consult closely, both about ways to solve remaining procedural issues affecting both the bilateral and multilateral talks, and how best to advance the peace process more generally.”

“The president told the king that the United States would continue to do what it could to help Jordan, both directly and via international financial institutions,” the White House statement said.

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