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Jordan Rejects U.S. ‘hawks’ Proposal

September 19, 1975
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Sen., Clifford Case (R.NJ) said today that the Ford Administration’s compromise with Congress over the sale of 14 “Hawk” missile batteries to Jordan still stands despite King Hussein’s rejection of it as “insulting.” Case said yesterday that he was dropping his opposition to the sale as a result of President Ford’s letter to Senate and House leaders giving assurances that the weapons would be restricted to defensive use and would be deployed around the Jordanian capital of Amman, out of range of Israeli air space.

The Jordanian government announced today that Ford’s assurances were an affront to Jordan’s “national dignity,” A government spokesman in Amman said Jordan would never agree to sign a deal for the missiles under the conditions laid down by Ford.

Case said that he and other Senators who had gone the “last mile” to satisfy Hussein’s request for American weapons and not upset the Middle East power balance believed that “this matter is too serious to be based merely on dignity,” Questions also arose here as to whether the State Department kept Jordan fully informed of the objections to the sale by members of Congress and the compromise reached with the White House.

An official Jordanian statement today said the delivery dates mentioned in Ford’s letter to Congress “are incompatible with Jordan’s needs.” According to the President’s letter, the first “Hawk” battery would be delivered to Jordan in October, 1976 and the final one sometime in 1979. The Jordanian statement said “Jordan insists on importing them as soon as training of our armed forces are completed.” The statement asserted that if the U.S. insisted on its terms, Jordan would seek the missiles “from any other sources.”

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