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Jordan's PM says lack of progress in negotiations will affect relations with Israel

February 14, 2014 at 9:13 am

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour has told Maariv newspaper that the lack of progress in US efforts for the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations will have a negative impact on his own country’s relations with Israel.

In an interview during the World Economic Forum held in Jordan earlier this week, Ensour told Maariv that there is a direct correlation between progress with regard to Palestinian-Israeli negotiations on the one hand and the Hashemite Kingdom’s relations with Israel on the other. Progress on one front means progress on the other, while the ongoing lack of progress will have a negative effect.

When asked by Maariv about Jordan’s vote to expel the Israeli ambassador, the Prime Minister insisted that parliament has a constitutional right to make such decisions if they are deemed the right thing to do. Implementation, however, lies in the hands of the political leadership and the government and depends on the overall situation in the region.

Ensour criticised Israel’s policies in Occupied Jerusalem, especially with regards to Al-Aqsa Mosque. He noted that the Jordanian Foreign Ministry summoned the Israeli ambassador and had a robust discussion with him about attacks on Holy Places. The ministry told the ambassador that such attacks are not acceptable and that Israel needs to act responsibly. He was also told that Israel should expect a reaction if it continues with its policies for the Judaisation of Al-Aqsa.

The Maariv interview then touched on the situation in Syria. Prime Minister Ensour said that the Kingdom of Jordan believes that it is time for President Assad to depart and for the formation of a new regime in Damascus. Israel opposes such a move because it is not known what position a new regime will take towards Tel Aviv.