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House Unit Acts to Bar U.S. Contacts with Plo, Arms Sales to Jordan

February 29, 1984
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Administration suffered a setback on its proposal to sell arms to Jordan when the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East adopted an amendment by a vote of 7-2 that would forbid such sales unless the President certifies that Jordan is “publicly committed” to recognizing Israel.

The House panel also approved an amendment that would bar the Administration from dealing with the Palestine Liberation Organization. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Mel Levine P. Calif.) and passed unanimously, was reportedly prompted by reports that the Administration had conducted a series of contacts with the PLO through a third party for a nine-month period ending in June, 1982.


These prohibitions were adopted by the House subcommittee as it acted on President Reagan’s foreign aid requests for fiscal 1985. It approved most of the Administration’s country-by-country requests for economic and military assistance in Europe and the Mideast. But it increased the request for $850 million on economic aid to Israel by $250 million. It deferred action on requests for Turkey and Greece, which are involved in continuing disputes over Cyprus.

The amendment on Jordan was adopted despite Administration opposition. The Administration regard: Jordan as a vital ally and wants to grant King Hussein’s desire to acquire advanced F–16 jet fighters, mobile ground-to-air antiaircraft missiles and other weapons.

But the committee’s amendment would prohibit such sales “unless the President has certified to the Congress that Jordan is publicly committed to the recognition of Israel and to prompt entry into direct peace negotiations with Israel.” Hussein has so far re fused to enter into direct peace talks.


The amendment on the PLO is reportedly intended to bar the Administration from circumventing a 1975 agreement with Israel that the U.S. will not recognize or negotiate with the PLO until it recognizes Israel’s right to exist. The amendment states that the U.S. “hereby reaffirms this policy.” It adds: “in accordance with that policy, no officer or employee of the United States government and no agent or other individual acting on behalf of the United States government shall negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization or any representative thereof.”

The committee’s action on Israel would authorize it to receive non-repayable grants of $1.4 billion in military aid and ill billion in economic aid during fiscal 1985. The subcommittee also voted to approve the Administration’s request for grants to Egypt of $1.17 billion in military aid and $750 million in economic assistance. But it also passed a “sense of Congress” resolution stating that the aid Is being granted in the expectation that Egypt will continue to fulfill its peace treaty with Israel.

Before the subcommittee’s actions can become law, they have to be approved by the full House, reconciled with the Senate’s version of the foreign old bill and signed by the President.

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