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Israel-Jordan Relations: Secret Peace Negotiations

(June 4, 1968)

Follwing the Six-Day War, Israel and Jordan held a number of secret meeting in an effort to negotiate peace. This CIA report refers to some of these early meetings. Even after more than 30 years, the State Department would not declassify the entire text.

SUBJECT: Jordan-Israel Secret Negotiations

1. The secret Jordan-Israel talks in London covered the period between 4 May 1968 when Hussein had his first meetings with Eban and 16 May 1968 when Khammash had the final meeting with Israel Chief of Staff Barlev. Following these, Hussein stopped briefly in Paris for a meeting with General DeGaulle. By the last week in May, Hussein was back in Amman [3 lines of source text not declassified].

2. [7 lines of source text not declassified] Hussein's preoccupation with the danger of a major Israeli military action which would destroy the moderate Jordan state has been reflected in Embassy reporting.

3. [1½ lines of source text not declassified] Eban agreed at the end of the London talks that he would report to Eshkol and the Cabinet Hussein's reaction to the Israel proposal for a settlement described by Eban in London and Hussein's own counter-proposal. [1112 lines of source text not declassified]

4. [11½ lines of source text not declassified]

5. General DeGaulle, after hearing Hussein's appraisal of the Middle East situation, told Hussein that if Hussein's statements reflected the realities, the prospects for an early political solution were dim and the threat of a major confrontation involving the Great Powers in the Middle East within the next two years was real. Hussein did not discuss his Israeli contacts with DeGaulle and DeGaulle's earlier offers to mediate were not renewed.

Richard Helms

Sources: "Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence [Richard] Helms to President Johnson," Smith, Louis J. (Ed.). Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, V. 20, Arab-Israeli Dispute 1967-1968. DC: GPO, 2001.