Jordan's Prime Minster Zeid Al-Rifai paid a surprise visit to Syria on Friday (23 April) for talks on the crisis in Lebanon.
GV EXTERIOR Guest house and meeting place in Damascus (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR Prime Minister Al-Rifai (left) talking to Prime Minister Al-Ayoubi (3 shots)
SV INTERIOR Rifai seated with president Assad (2 shots)
MEETING PLACE IN DAMASCUS; PRIME MINISTER RIFAI AND AYOUBI SPEAKING; RIFAI TALKING TO PRESIDENT ASSAD.
Initials CL/1850 CL/1905
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Background: Jordan's Prime Minster Zeid Al-Rifai paid a surprise visit to Syria on Friday (23 April) for talks on the crisis in Lebanon.
He brought with him a letter from King Hussein who has recently completed a world tour. Few specific details about the talks between Mr. Rifai and his counterpart Prime Minster Mahmoud Al-Ayoubi and President Hafez Al-Assad were released in Damascus.
Relations between Syria and Jordan have improved significantly over the last year. In August, 1975, the two countries entered into a formal military and political alliance. They formed a Supreme Command Council to issue "decisions, directives and instructions" in several fields. King Hussein and President Assad meet every tree months, or whenever the need arises, to discuss common policy.
In recent months, as the war in Lebanon has escalated and Syria has increased its intervention there, talks between Jordan and Syria have intensified. At present, Syria has about 10,000 troops in Lebanon.
Another topic of discussion could be the possible visit to the Soviet Union by King Hussein this summer. Sources quoted by Reuters News Agency said the King was hoping to visit there to buy Soviet arms. Prime Minister Al-Rifai said earlier this month that Jordan would turn to the Soviet Union for arms supplies after the collapse of a deal to buy American missiles.