Jordan asks US for a clear Arab-Israeli policy -- not favors
Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger's visit to Jordan Feb. 10, his last stop on a three-nation Mideast tour, signals an attempt by the Reagan administration to balance its diplomatic support of Israel with reassurances to America's Arab allies.
Mr. Weinberger's visit comes after two important visits by Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. to Israel and Egypt and the Egyptian President's meeting with Mr. Reagan last week.
It also comes at a time of heavy anti-American rhetoric in the Arab world due to US opposition to a United Nations resolution advocating sanctions against Israel for its virtual annexation of the Golan Heights.
In this sense, the defense secretary's mission is one of ''damage control.'' Jordanian authorities point out that the US and Jordan already have extensive military relations.
One official said Feb. 10 that Mr. Weinberger's visit showed that the Reagan administration ''might be moving back to the old, relaxed way of thinking about Jordan: when you send a diplomat through the Mideast he stops in Jordan because it is an important country to the US.''
But this official still sees the Reagan administration as being overwhelmingly pro-Israel and too concerned with the Soviet threat to the Middle East.
In an interview with the Monitor Feb. 9, Jordanian Crown Prince Hasan concurred, saying the US has yet to come up with a diplomatic strategy that decreases tension in the Gulf region or that counters Soviet Priemier Leonid Brezhnev's 1980 proposal that the Indian Ocean region be free of superpower military presence.
The Prince said Mr. Reagan's Feb. 8 proposal to Congress to increase the size and capabilities of the US Rapid Deployment Force will only ''tend to make the Gulf a tinderbox.''