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Ronald Reagan Administration: Statement on United States Arms Sales to Jordan

(November 25, 1985)

On October 21 I submitted to the Congress a formal notification of the proposed sale of fighter aircraft, air defense missiles, armored vehicles, and other equipment to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The number and type of arms included in our proposal were selected only after careful study of Jordan's legitimate defensive needs.

I have today signed into law Senate Joint Resolution 228, which provides that no letter of offer for any of the advanced weapons systems, including advanced aircraft and advanced air defense systems, included in our proposed sale to Jordan will be valid before March 1, 1986, unless Jordan enters direct negotiations with Israel before that date. This legislation expresses Congress' belief that the peace process should be our primary concern. Peace remains my main concern, as it is that of King Hussein, Prime Minister Peres [of Israel], and other responsible leaders throughout the Middle East. King Hussein has taken dramatic steps towards peace, steps which have exposed him and the people of Jordan to strong pressure and bloody violence from those adamantly opposed to any peaceful settlement. Our arms proposals are designed to strengthen Jordan's ability to pursue its demonstrated commitment to peace.

In the months between now and March 1, we will continue to work towards achieving the goal we all share, the goal King Hussein outlined in his recent speech to the United Nations General Assembly: prompt, direct negotiations between Jordan and Israel. I remain equally committed to providing Jordan the defensive arms it requires. These weapons are neither a reward nor penalty for Jordan's actions, but tangible proof that we remain committed to providing a good friend of many years with the tools needed to protect itself during the search for peace in a troubled region

Sources: Public Papers of the President