Jordan's King Hussein wil bring to Washington Monday a different, more pessimistic view on the chances for a quick Middle East peace settlement than President Carter heard earlier this month from Egypt's President Anwar Sadat.
While Sadat has consistently pushed 1977 as the year for peace in the Middle East - "this golden opportunity," he told Carter 10 days ago - King Hussein believes Israeli intran-daily papers - all closely controlled by peace talks this year.
"Those who lead Arab opinion to believe that peace can be restored in 1977 are playing with fire," Hussein told the French newspaper Le Monde last week in a veiled reference to Sadat's statements.
Hussein will be the second in a series of four Arab leaders whom Carter will meet with over the next two months in an attempt to explore alternative ways to end 29 years of war and near war in the Middle East. Carter has already met with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Once regarded as America's only friend in the Arab world, Hussein was reported by foreign diplomats and Jordanian officials here to be worried that Carter may have bought a possible settlement plan bandied about in Israel that would give the Palestinians the East Bank of the Jordan River along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for their homeland.
According to persons who have talked with the king recently, he fears that Carter's endorsement last month of a homeland for the Palestinians (without saying exactly where that homeland should be), coupled with the leak in Washington in February that he had been on the CIA payroll for more than 20 years, might signal a shift in U.S. policy toward Jordan.
Hussein himself last week strongly attacked any idea of turning over the East Bank of the Jordan to the Palestinian along with the West Bank and Gaza.
Earlier this month, Hussein - not normally one who follow the vogue in the Arab world for conspiracy theories - warned that Jordan is threatened by an "international conspiracy." While he did not name the alleged participants, editorials that day in the daily papers - all closely controled by the government - identified Israel and the United States as the main plotters.
The Jordanian Press has been running a series of unusually harsh anti-american editorials since the beginning of last month.
These anti-American editorials stopped about two weeks ago "in preparation for the king's visit to the United States," said an Arab diplomat here.
The Arab leaders have been unable to come up with any joint plan either for getting peace talks going or for a final settlement with Israel. Sadat and Hussein, for example, differ strongly on the role the Palestinians should play in the peace talks.
Sadat wants the Palestinians to be linked to Jordan at the peace talks - a way to get around Israeli insistence that it will not deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Hussein believes the Palestinains should be included in a single delegation for one whole Arab side.
For that season, efforts by Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia to reunite the PLO and Jordan - bitter enemies for six years ever since Hussein's army threw the Palestinian guerrillas out of Jordan in heavy battles - have moved at a snail's pace since they were first called for in January.
While Sadat and Hussein differ on the chances of getting a Middle East peace settlement quickly, they both agree on the need to get talks started soon to prevent what the king has called "an explosion" in the Middle East. Without movement toward peace, both rulers believe, the present moderate governments in Jordan, Syria and Egypt could be toppled by far more radical regimes.
[Hussein is to be welcomed at a White House ceremony Monday morning and then meet with President Carter, according to a schedule released by the White House. later he will have lunch with Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance and talks with Secretary of Defense Harold Brown. A working dinner at the White House is scheduled for Monday evening.]