I take exception to The Times' editorial (Oct. 4), "Jordan Arms Sale Proposal," favoring the Reagan Administration's proposal to sell $1.9 billion in advanced arms to Jordan without, as The Times writes, "concrete evidence of Jordan's involvement in the peace process . . ."
In deciding the arms sales question, Congress must indeed consider what is in the national interest of the United States. However, it is difficult to see how further arming Jordan, without their first committing themselves to direct negotiations with Israel, will enhance U.S. interests. Clearly, a stable, peaceful Middle East is in U.S. national interest. However, we have already seen that we cannot buy peace with arms sales.
Saudi Arabia is a good example. In 1981 Congress agreed to sell advanced weapons to that country in part because Congress had been assured by the Administration that Saudi Arabia would provide "substantial assistance" to the United States in promoting Middle East peace. Unfortunately, not only has Saudi Arabia done nothing to fulfill that assurance, but it has thrown obstacles in the path to peace.
Two discrete but related points need to be made with respect to arms sales, the peace process and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. First, one of the stipulations Congress has imposed on arms sales to Jordan is that Jordan must commit itself to direct negotiations with Israel. Second, it is the declared U.S. position, outlined in a successful amendment I authored to the fiscal years 1986-1987 foreign aid bill, that the United States will not recognize or negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization as long as it does not recognize Israel's right to exist, does not accept U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and does not renounce the use of terrorism.