OPINION

February 16, 1958

JORDAN-IRAQ: Washington, 14 – An agreement between the kings of Iraq and Jordan, founding the Arab Federation, was signed today in Amman. According to observers here, the agreement is important and potentially a serious influence on developments in the Middle East where there are three vulnerable situations: the infiltration by communists, Arab hostility to Israel, and the West’s exploitation of rich petroleum reserves. The foundation of a new Arab state, following the recent establishment of the United Arab Republic between Egypt and Syria, is a boost to Arab nationalism and a second step toward a pan-Arab union that could be overturned by Western forces despite the apparent rivalry between the two Arab federations. According to reports from Amman, King Faisal of Iraq and King Hussein of Jordan proclaimed the merging of their two states today. The two leaders, both 22 years of age, are great-grandsons of the Hussein who incited the Arabs to rise up against the Turks during the First World War. The new state’s total population will be over 6.5 million, with a well-trained army of 84,000. The two kings announced the union of their two countries after an all-night session finalizing the details of the agreement.