Syria Table of Contents
The February 1985 agreement between King Hussein of Jordan and Yasir Arafat of the PLO to form a joint delegation to negotiate with Israel was anathema to Syrian policy as outlined in the Assad Doctrine. Consequently, Syria exerted strong political pressure on Jordan to change its stance. For example, observers accused Syria of unleashing dissident Palestinian terrorists of the Abu Nidal organization, which it controlled, against Jordanian targets in retaliation for Jordan's pursuit of an independent policy. Syria also spread propaganda to persuade Jordanians that their king was giving in to Israeli demands without getting concessions from Israel. Syria also convinced other Arab rulers that Jordan was treacherously dealing with Israel. Within a year, Syria seemed to have succeeded in weaning Jordan from the moderate camp and bringing it into the Syrian sphere.
The December 30, 1985, visit by King Hussein to Damascus marked the end of seven years of unremitting hostility between the two nations. In conformity with the Assad Doctrine, Jordan renounced "partial, separate, and direct talks with Israel" and issued an abject apology and admission of guilt for having harbored and supported anti-Syrian Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in the early 1980s (see Ethnic and Religious Opposition Movements , ch. 5).
Data as of April 1987