Ammon News, Gotcha

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.

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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.

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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."

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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

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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.

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Lower House condemns US statements on Golan Heights

[3/24/2019 9:44:18 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Speaker of the Lower House of the Parliament Atef Tarawneh expressed the House's rejection of the US statements and positions that violate international legitimacy resolutions on the occupied Golan Heights. At the opening of today's session, Tarawneh said that the US actions further complicate the situation in our region and increase instability as they support the Israeli occupation. He added that the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab lands is the only mean to end the conflict and injustice inflicted upon our nation. Tarawneh pointed to the recent US attempts to change the facts, noting that U.S President Donald Trump's call to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights reflects the US bias towards Israel and its withdrawal as an honest broker of the peace process," he added. Tarawneh also pointed to a statement issued by the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (APU) condemning the statement of the US president, and stressing the support to Syria to regain the Golan Heights.

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Moscow, Damascus Welcome Jordan's Desire To Assist Syrian Refugees' Return

[3/9/2019 8:38:20 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The heads of the Russian and Syrian joint coordination committees, in a Saturday statement, welcomed Jordan's declared commitment to provide comprehensive assistance to Syrians staying on its soil in their return to the home country. "We welcome the desire of the government of Jordan for the provision of comprehensive assistance to Syrians residing in the Kingdom, in their quest to return to their pre-war homes and look forward to the continued participation of our Jordanian colleagues in the implementation of initiatives for the return of Syrian refugees and the speedy liquidation of Rukban camp," the joint statement, published on the Russian Defense Ministry's website said. The statement noted that the situation in the Rukban camp, locked in the US-controlled zone around its At-Tanf base bordering Jordan, remained catastrophic, with children under the age of two making up most of the daily deaths in the area, according to the relatives of camp residents. "As time goes by, and while the United States, hiding behind the supposedly interests of Rukban residents, demand ideal conditions for temporarily displaced persons from long-suffering Syria. There will simply be no one to save," the statement warned. Finally, the heads of the Russian and Syrian joint coordination committees reiterated the call for the United States to disband the Rukban camp by letting those wishing to return leave "the illegally occupied territory of Syria" and ensuring their safety. Over months, the situation in the Rukban camp has been in the focus as Moscow and Damascus criticize Washington for its refusal to facilitate evacuation of the camp's residents wishing to return to their places of residence. In January, the World Health Organization described people residing in the Rukban camp as "trapped," adding that they live "in deplorable conditions." Limited water supply, bitterly cold weather and poorly functioning health care facilities contribute to the rise of diseases, which include influenza, measles, tuberculosis and chronic respiratory diseases, according to the organization. *Sputnik

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