Jordan's King Hussein has strongly criticized the U.S. mediating role in the current Middle East peace-making process and has called for the involvement of the Soviet Union once again.
In his most disappointed public tone to date, King Hussein told a group of Austrian journalists Monday night that it was "unrealistic" to expect Jordan to be satisfied with a mere restating of principles already agreed upon in U.N. Security Council resolution 242," adding that "we're getting nowhere obviously," if such is all the American mediation is now trying to achieve.
He used pessimistic language and a tone that was derisive at times when talking about the mediation efforts of U.S. envoy Alfred Atherton. "It will take more than attempts at mediation to assure success," he said of the American efforts now underway.
The king also said that he has no plans to visit Washington this spring, as he normally does every year. This appeared to dampen recent speculation here that he would travel to the United States for talks with president Carter.
Hussein, who was talking to journalists accompanying Austrian President Rudolph Kirchschlaeger on an official visit here, called on the Americans to reexamine their position in view of Israel's stand against a full territorial withdrawl and recognition of Palestinian rights. He said that the Soviet Union should be brought into the peacemaking process once again.
Referring to the United States, he also said that "it is totally unaccpetable for us to have a dialogue with people when they have failed to convince the Israelis to change their position: if they have differences, let them try to sort them out with Israel."
Hussein strongly attacked Israel, accusing it of holding up progess in the negotiations. He said that the blame for the collapse of the talks should be said "squarely on the shoulders of the Israelis and their government."
He charged that "so many Israeli interpretations and plans are part of a definite attempt to waste time and to idlute the process to almost nothing."
The current Israeli-Egyptian regotiations are not a dialogue, he said, but "they're a total mess as far as I'm concerned at this stage." He added, "I do not see one single reason for Jordan to change its attitude and position . . . We're still gropling in the darkness and cannot see any light at the end of the dark tunnel."