King Hussein of Jordan met with President Reagan at the White House yesterday, but U.S. officials said later that the informal visit here is not expected to result in dramatic new moves to revive the stalled Middle East peace process.
Hussein, who came to the United States for the high school graduations of his twin daughters, also planned to confer with Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger about the Mideast political situation and Jordan's defense needs.
However, a senior U.S. official, who spoke with reporters after the White House meeting and requested anonymity, indicated that no immediate action is likely either on the peace process or a new administration attempt to sell U.S. arms to Jordan despite congressional opposition.
Efforts to revive the peace process ran into an impasse in February when Hussein broke off talks with Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat because the PLO was unwilling to meet his terms for a joint delegation to begin talks with Israel.
Shultz is weighing a trip to the Middle East, partly to explore resuming the peace process. However, despite expectations that he would go before the end of the month, U.S. sources indicated yesterday that nothing could be accomplished by a visit now and that Hussein's visit seems unlikely to change that assessment.
The senior official said various ideas about the peace process would be discussed with Hussein here. But other U.S. sources said these talks are expected to focus on such issues as improving the quality of life for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank rather than on an actual start of peace talks.
Last fall, the administration proposed selling Jordan arms valued at $1.5 billion to $1.9 billion, but the package was withdrawn when it became apparent that Congress would reject the sale.
Last week, by a one-vote margin, the Senate sustained Reagan's veto of a congressional attempt to block an arms sale to Saudi Arabia, and U.S. officials made clear yesterday that the administration does not intend to risk a similar fight involving the Jordan arms package.
Jordan, working on the assumption that it will be unable to obtain U.S. jet fighters for its air force, has been negotiating the possible purchase of as many as 40 Tornado jets manufactured by a British-West German-Italian consortium.