Ammon News, Gotcha

Turkish envoy stresses his country's support of Hashemite custodianship

[7/9/2019 4:15:56 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Turkish Ambassador to Jordan Murat Karagoz underscored his country's support of the Hashemite custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. During a meeting with the Jordanian-Turkish Brotherhood Committee at the Senate, Karagoz described ties between Amman and Ankara as "historical and deep-rooted," pointing to several agreement on bilateral cooperation. The envoy affirmed that His Majesty King Abdullah and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan share brotherly and robust ties, noting that Jordan and Turkey see eye-to-eye on various issues, namely the Palestinian cause. He pointed out the bilateral cooperation in various fields and sectors, including the tourism and religious tourism sectors, stressing the committee's key role in boosting ties. "The Turkish embassy in Amman is working on attracting investments to the Kingdom, and enhancing economic, tourism, and cultural ties between the two countries," the ambassador added. Head of the committee, Senator Munir Soubar, said the Jordanian-Turkish are robust and distinguished, and are based on mutual respect, calling for boosting ties in the investment and economic areas, and stimulating the tourism sector in both countries. He lauded Turkey's supportive stance for the Kingdom on various regional issues, which aims to achieve peace and stability, and its support for Jordan which is currently hosting over 1.3 million Syrian refugees despite its limited resources.

Read Comments

Minister says 10mln firearms in citizens' possession, draft bill pursues greater control

[7/7/2019 5:13:39 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Interior Salamah Hammad on Sunday said that there are more than 10 million firearms in Jordanians' possession which requires a robust regulatory framework. The minister's remarks come at a time when a proposed gun control draft bill continues to drive public debate. During a meeting of the Lower House of Parliament's Legal Committee, the minister said the draft is designed to regulate firearms possession and licensing and pushes towards preventing the proliferation of unlicensed guns. Chairman of the Committee, MP Abdulminem Oudat, said the panel will address any loopholes in the "weapons and ammunition draft law" to arrive at a legislation that enjoys "a high degree of accord". The lawmaker said the committee will draw up a counter-firearm strategy that takes into account local perception of gun possession and bearing. While acknowledging the need to have a greater control over firearms possession, Oudat said the gap in views over the "withdrawal of guns remains wide". He assured that the draft bill is not and should not be intended to "strip people of their right to possess and bear firearms" but is designed to control the whole process in a manner consistent with the rule of law and society security.

Read Comments

Al-Masri 'We stand behind Hashemite leadership against plots'

[4/29/2019 11:28:33 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Former Prime Minster Taher al-Masri on Monday said that all Jordanians rally behind His Majesty King Abdullah in the face of international "plots and pressures." He made his remarks during a celebration organized by the Zarqa University to mark its 25th anniversary that concurred with the Kingdom's national occasions. Al-Masri said that the Arab nation is witnessing many conflicts and that Jordan is exposed to "many plots that aim to liquidate the Palestinian cause and disregard international legitimacy." "We stand in support of His Majesty the King against anyone who tries to obliterate the Palestinian identity or deny the rights of the Palestinian people to set up their sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital," he said, stressing the Hashemite custodianship over the city's sanctities.

Read Comments

Youth are cornerstone of nation's second-century transition: Ghunaimat

[4/27/2019 3:22:09 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat said youth are the cornerstone of the nation's second-century transition, so they are the top priorities for the government as they constitute the present and future, and an integral part of the democratic process and decision-making. The government is aware of the need to work alongside young people, and to integrate them into the development process, to create the future that suits them and meet their aspirations, and to be a major tool of defending the country, Ghunaimat said in a seminar held in Amman on Saturday. She added that the government is working on a new formula for creating job and employment opportunities for young people, so this year it will provide about 30,000 jobs and focus on attracting new investments to create jobs and increase exports. She pointed out that the government has recently taken a series of measures to alleviate burdens on citizens during the holy month of Ramadan by postponing loan installments, not raising the prices of water and electricity, and lowering the prices of goods, noting that the prices of goods in Ramadan will be less than last Ramadan.

Read Comments

U.S. official says "confederation between Jordan, Israel & PA" mere rumors

[4/24/2019 3:02:05 PM]

AMMONNEWS - U.S. President Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt on Wednesday denied that the U.S. Middle East peace vision incudes a confederation between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. "Rumors that our peace vision includes a confederation between Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, or that the vision contemplates making Jordan the homeland for Palestinians, are incorrect. Please don’t spread rumors."

Read Comments

Jordan-Syria ties stumble over fate of Jordanian detainees

[4/22/2019 5:51:30 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Hopes for a smooth resumption of ties between Jordan and Syria, which hit rock bottom following the eruption of the Syrian crisis in 2011, have been dashed over the fate of Jordanian citizens arrested by the Syrian authorities since the reopening of a land border last October. On April 9, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry announced it had received assurances from its embassy in Damascus that the Syrian authorities would release eight Jordanian detainees. The news came five days after the ministry had summoned Syria’s charge d'affaires in Amman for the fourth time to protest the detention of Jordanians who had earlier crossed the border. On April 10, the ministry confirmed that four out of 55 Jordanians detained in Syria have been released. Thousands of Jordanians had crossed the border into Syria since last October, while the two countries exchanged parliamentary visits in what was seen as a positive sign of a warming of bilateral ties. A nine-member parliamentary delegation visited Damascus in November 2018 and was later received by President Bashar al-Assad. And on Feb. 27, a Syrian delegation of lawmakers arrived in Amman to participate in an Arab parliamentary conference. It was the first visit by Syrian officials to the kingdom since 2011. Other steps signaling a thaw in ties with Syria included the visits by delegations representing Jordanian businessmen to Damascus seeking to improve economic ties, while Amman announced in January that it was upgrading its diplomatic presence in Damascus. In February, the local aviation authority allowed Jordanian civilian aircraft to use Syrian airspace. Observers here believe that Amman was also working behind the scenes to resolve the issue of Syria’s return to the Arab League ahead of an Arab summit that was held in Tunisia in March. An impromptu short meeting hosted by Jordan Jan. 31 and attended by the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates is believed to have addressed Syria’s possible return to the Arab League, among other issues. But differences over this issue prevented an agreement. Syria’s detention of a number of Jordanians visiting the country had put pressure on the Jordanian government, which initially tried to resolve the issue discreetly. But coming under public pressure, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a stern statement April 4 calling on the Syrian government to immediately release more than 30 Jordanians. A spokesman for the ministry said that if the Syrian government had reservations regarding any Jordanian wishing to enter the country then it should return him to Jordan; but to allow him to enter and then arrest him is totally unacceptable, especially since the number of those detained has been rising. The ministry’s statement underlined the reality that Jordanian-Syrian ties have a long way to go before becoming normal. Adding to the controversy is the reaction of one pro-Syrian Jordanian lawmaker, Tarek Khoury, who, on April 7, attacked his own government. He said that the Syrian government was about to release 28 detainees but that the ministry’s statement, which he described as “undiplomatic and poisonous,” has delayed such a step. Khoury also said that some of the detainees include members of the Islamic State and others working for the Qatari news channel, Al Jazeera. There has been no news over the fate of the rest of the Jordanian detainees since April 9. But analysts here believe that the state of bilateral ties with Damascus was discussed during an April 7 visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Amman. The analysts say that Amman, as well as Cairo, continue to support the principle of restoring Syria’s membership to the Arab League, but want to see positive steps taken by Damascus. Jordan is working with Russia to end the plight of thousands of refugees trapped in al-Rukban area on the Syrian side of the border with the kingdom. Jordan is also seeking Moscow’s help to facilitate the return of more than 600,000 Syrian refugees in the kingdom. Jordanian businessmen also hope to have a share of the multibillion-dollar contracts expected for Syria’s reconstruction in the future. Meanwhile, Jordan is waiting for a positive sign from the Syrian side over the detainee issue. Nidal al-Taani, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Jordanian lower house of parliament, told Al-Monitor that the kingdom is looking to have special relations in all fields with Syria, especially at this sensitive stage. But he reiterated the government’s position that the issue of detaining Jordanians is a major stumbling block. He added that the number of detainees has increased since the reopening of borders. Writing in al-Ghad daily April 11, political columnist Maher Abu Tair said Jordan is to blame for not warning its citizens of the risk entailed in visiting Syria. He added that the Syrian regime does not care about the fate of over 1 million Syrians living in Jordan, so why should it bother about a few Jordanians in its prisons? “The fact is that Syria is holding a grudge against Jordan believing that we had supported the chaos there … and it wants us to come on our knees asking for forgiveness,” he said. He concluded by saying that the crisis proves that restoring normal ties between the two countries will take a long time. *Al-Monitor

Read Comments

Ministry says use of Kurdistan flag during Prince Faisal's meeting with Barzani "protocol mistake"

[4/6/2019 4:07:57 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said that the use of Iraq's Kurdistan region's flag instead of Iraq's national flag during a meeting yesterday between His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Al-Hussien and President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was only an individual and unintended "protocol mistake". Ministry's spokesperson, Sufian Qudah, said in a statement released today that Jordan's remains firmly committed to the stability and unity of Iraq, voicing the Kingdom's support of Iraq's efforts to maintain its security and territorial integrity.

Read Comments