Jordan's King Hussein returned here today from an unannounced visit to Baghdad, where he and top military aides held a series of meetings with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and reaffirmed Jordan's support in the Iraq-Iranian war.
The Jordanian monarch, in his second visit to Baghdad since the start of the war, assured the Iraqi leader that Jordan would continue its "unqualified" support regardless of positions taken by other Arab states.
Radio Amman said the king expressed his disappointment to Saddam Hussein that other Arab states have not given full backing to the Iraqi effort.
The Iraqi news agency announced tonight that King Hussein had returned to Amman after a visit, Washington Post correspondent Stuart Auerbach reported from Baghdad, and the agency said he had been accompanied by members of his general staff. Until then, according to Auerbach, his visit was a closely kept secret in Baghdad and even Arab diplomats there did not know he had come.
There was some speculation in Baghdad, but no confirmation that the king and his generals were helping the Iraqis set strategy for the war as well as speculation that Jordan might send tank technicians to help rebuild some of the U.S.-made tanks Iraq captured from Iran in the fighting. Iraq uses mostly Soviet equipment, while Iran was supplied for years by the United States.
Palace sources and official spokesmen for the government here denied a report that the king had turned over the command of the Jordanian Army to the Iraqi military command.
In his two-day visit to Baghdad, the king met several times with Saddam Hussein and received a briefing from Iraqi Army officers "about the military situation and the victories of the Iraqi Army," according to an official announcement.
The king also toured military facilities and inspected stores of captured Iranian weapons, a Jordanian official said.
Meanwhile, a committee of seven Arab foreign ministers gathered here today to begin preparing an agenda for the planned Nov. 25 Arab summit meeting in Amman. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Faisal said that the Palestinian issue would be at the top of the summit's agenda and he appealed to all Arab nations to attend the conference and address common problems, rather than quarrel about regional differences.
However, the Persian Gulf war and differing views over how much support should be given to Iraq in the conflict are expected to dominate the summit meeting, upon which King Hussein has pinned his hopes for reviving a spirit of pan-Arabism.
Meanwhile, Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan, the king's brother, met here with Chadli Klibi, secretary general of the Arab League. The prince cited "the danger of Israel's exploitation of the current situation in the region with the aim of consolidating its control of the occupied Arab territories," according to a palace statement.
This was another indication that King Hussein intends to try to steer the summit conference away from the war and focus on a united Arab strategy against Israel.