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State Department Admits It Erred on Hussein’s Alleged Pledge to Ban PLO Strikes from Jordan

June 26, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A widely publicized assertion by a State Department senior official that Jordan’s King Hussein had personally assured President Carter he would not permit the Palestine Liberation Organization to launch strikes against Israel from Jordanian soil was acknowledged by the Department today as having been incorrect.

The official made the statement last Wednesday, to selected reporters in a background briefing at the State Department after the King and the President had completed their talks but while the King was still in Washington. It was prominently reported as an indication of the King’s opposition to PLO terror against Israel.

However, four days later, on NBC’s nationally televised “Meet the Press” program, the King said that the subject did not arise in his talks with the President. Later, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency asked the State Department, who is right and who is wrong? The State Department replied: “On ‘Meet the Press,’ the King said there is no change in Jordan’s position. We knew that, found it acceptable and saw no reason to raise the question in our talks. It did arise when the King was meeting with the Congress. The King restated his position, and it was to that statement that the senior official referred.

The JTA asked a competent source at the State Department to whom in the Congress the King made the statement, since he had met with Senators and Representatives in separate sessions. The source replied he did not know.

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