Jordanian soil will not be used as a launch pad for attacks on Syria, a government spokesman said on Wednesday. The kingdom will remain neutral on Arab issues, as it always has, said Mohammad Momani. The Information Minister made his remarks to Al-Ghad newspaper a day after Amman hosted a meeting of senior army officers from 10 Arab and Western countries.
Momani spoke amid rising tension over a possible US-Western military strike against Syria, which is accused of using chemical weapons against civilians last week. The regime in Damascus has denied the accusation.
The two-day meeting has not resulted in any official press statements. Political and military sources said that it was one of a series of similar meetings planned months ago but the Syrian issue would be on the agenda. In attendance was the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and army chiefs of staff from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.
Jordan's state news agency, Petra, quoted a government official last Friday as saying that the meeting would be an opportunity "to examine the questions linked to the security of the region and the repercussions of the Syrian crisis, as well as means of military cooperation to ensure the kingdom's security."
The joint hosts of the meeting were Jordan's chief of staff Lt. Gen. Mishaal Zaben and the head of Centcom, General Lloyd Austin of the US Army. Further meetings are planned to ensure ongoing coordination and cooperation in assessing current events in the region.