President Carter plans to "use all the persuasive power that I have" to induce King Hussein of Jordan to join the Mideast peace talks when the two meet here this week, the White House has revealed.
Carter made that promise in an interview Friday with representatives of American Jewish newspapers. The text of the interview was made public yesterday.
To the disappointment of the United States, Hussein has kept aloof from the U.S.-mediated, Egyptian-Israeli negotiations of Palestinian autonomy. He will be here for talks with Carter and other administration officials Tuesday and Wednesday, and Carter said he intends to bring up the call in the Camp David accords for Jordan to join with Israel and the Palestinians in determining the eventual status of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"I will certainly encourage King Hussein to join in these talks as soon as it's possible for him to agree to do so," Carter said. "His position has not been one of cooperation on the Camp David accords so far. One of the reasons that he states is that he was not adequately consulted before the terms of the Camp David accords were reached. . . and this is an agreement demanding that he join the talks when he was not involved in the decision itself."
"But," Carter continued, "this will be the first time I've met personally with King Hussein since Camp David, and I'll use all the persuasive power that I have to encourage him within the bounds of his own decisions -- he represents and independent nation -- to be constructive in bringing about a comprehensive peace, and I'll try to convince him that the best procedure for doing this is in accordance with the Camp David accords itself."
The president also cited the urgent need to make progress on the current phase of the Camp David process -- the attempt by Egypt and Israel to work out a five-year interim accord on a system of limited self-government for the Palestinian inhabitants of the occupied territories.
The talks currently are deadlocked, although the chief negotiators -- Israeli Interior Minister Yosef Burg, Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamal Hassan Ali and U.S. special envoy Sol M. Linowitz will meet here July 2 and 3 in an effort to get them going again.
Carter said the lack of movement in the autonomy talks was the principal reason that the nine-nation European Economic Community issued a statement in Venice on Friday calling for the Palestine Liberation Organization to be "associated" in some way with the Mideast peace process.
"One of the reasons why there's such an absence of support for Israel's position is that many of the former friends and allies of Israel don't think that the Camp David talks are going to succeed," Carter said.
"To the extent that we make progress, those European nations -- the Scandanavian countries and others -- I think will come back to a more balanced approach to the question."
"And," he continued, "if we can ever get the Palestinian Arabs and the Arabs represented in the talks through the West Bank mayors, the Gaza mayors and others, I think this will alleviate tension considerably and not only will stop the rash of United Nations resolutions, but also will strengthen support for a balanced decision on these matters."
In regard to the most controversial issue in the talks -- the insistence of Prime Minister Menachem Begin's government of establishing Jewish settlements in the occupied territories -- Carter reiterated that the United States remains firmly opposed to Israeli policy.
"In my opinion, the establishment of additional Israeli settlements on the West Bank is not necessary," Carter said. "It is an obstacle to peace because it creates very serious problems in reaching a comprehensive agreement."
He noted that the Camp David accords "prescribe an adequate commitment to Israel's security" by providing for Israeli "security posts at agreed locations" after Israel withdraws its military forces from the West Bank.
"We have not demanded from Israel that any settlements be dismantled," Carter said. "We have requested from Prime Minister Begin and others that establishment of new settlements be ceased until after an agreement could be reached."