Continuing his second tour of Middle Eastern nations, Dr. Henry Kissinger arrived in Jordan late?
Continuing his second tour of Middle Eastern nations, Dr. Henry Kissinger arrived in Jordan late on Friday night (15 December), for talks with King Hussein and government ministers the following day. Jordan was the fifth Arab nation to be visited by the United States' Secretary of State in four days. "Total agreement" was the phrase used by both parties at the end of talks between Dr. Kissinger and the Jordanian Prime Minister, Mr. Zeid Al-Rifai.
Dr. Kissinger told reporters at Amman Airport before he left for Lebanon, that his talks with Jordanian leaders had involved several hours "discussing the procedures, objectives, and subject-matter of the conference on peace in the Middle East as well as bilateral relationships." And he added, "there was a complete identity of views with respect to all the subjects."
The Jordanian Rime Minister told newsmen his country felt the U.S. Secretary of State was "doing his best to help us arrive at a peace settlement of the (Middle East) problem."
Instead of flying to Beirut, Dr. Kissinger's aircraft was diverted to a military air base 40 miles (64 kms) east of the Lebanese capital. The flight was diverted because a left-wing, anti-U.S., demonstration had broken out in Beirut. About 6,000 demonstrators were taking part in a protest march near the airport. An effigy of the Secretary of State, draped with a U.S. flag with a Star of David stuck over it, was carried by some of the women marchers. At one point, gunfire broke out, and Palestinian commandoes, who were marshalling the marchers, led one man away.
After four hours of secret talks with President Suleiman Franjoin and other Lebanese leaders, Dr. Kissinger left for Tel Aviv -- the last leg of his Middle Eastern tour.
Israel's Foreign Minister, Dr. Abba Eban, was waiting at Tel Aviv's heavily-guarded Lod airport for Dr. Kissinger's arrival on Saturday afternoon (16 December). Also there to greet him was the U.S. Ambassador Mr. Kenneth Keeting. Dr. Kissinger immediately went to Jerusalem by helicopter to have talks with Mrs. Golda Meir, the Israeli Prime Minister.
SYNOPSIS: Total agreement -- that was the verdict given by both sides after talks between the U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and King Hussein of Jordan on Saturday morning. Dr. Kissinger was in Amman as part of his Middle East tour, prior to the Geneva Peace Conference.
Following his talks in Jordan, Dr. Kissinger flew to Lebanon. Anti-U.S. demonstrations near Beirut Airport, led to his flight being diverted to a military air base, forty miles outside the capital. There he had four hours of secret talks with President Suleiman and other Lebanese government leaders.
Some of the demonstrators in Beirut carried an effigy of Dr. Kissinger.
There were an estimated six thousand men and women taking part in the march. Palestinian Commandoes were marshalling the rally, and at one point shots rang out. A man with an automatic weapon ran though the crowd. A man with a similar weapon was later led away.
After two hours, the demonstration broke up peacefully, except for the one incident. Meanwhile, forty miles away Dr. Kissinger was discussing the forthcoming Middle East Peace Conference with Lebanese leaders, over a working lunch.
Israel was the third Middle Eastern country Dr. Kissinger visited on Saturday. His jet touched down at the well-guarded Lod Airport in Tel Aviv. Waiting on the tarmac, Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, and U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Keeting. A helicopter was also standing by to whisk the Secretary of State to Jerusalem for an afternoon round of talks with Mrs. Golda Meir.
Israel was the last Middle Eastern country on Dr. Kissinger's itinerary, before the Geneva Conference.