Former Jordanian Prime Minister Abdelraouf Rawabdeh announced on Sunday: "Hamas is an esteemed movement, and Jordan should have normal ties with it."
During a discussion panel held at Al Hussein Cultural Centre in Amman, Rawabdeh stated: "Hamas is a jihadist movement, and we have to stand beside it in its conflict with Israel."
However, he added: "We have a national stance – Jordan must not host a non-Jordanian party led by Jordanians. There is no country in the world that agrees on the existence of a country for another state led by its own citizens."
Rawabdeh, whose government deported Hamas leaders in 1999, confirmed that Jordan maintains good relations with all other Palestinian factions, sharing that: "There had been blood between Amman from one side and Fatah, PFLP and DFLP and now we have good relations based on the common fate. Why do we not reconcile with Hamas?"
The former prime minister called for meetings with Hamas leaders similar to those held with Fatah and other factions in Amman "to discuss political issues clearly."
He stressed that such meetings: "Must be held on condition that these leaders would not be Jordanians, but Palestinians. Then, we respect them and take part in this Jihad."
Rawabdeh indicated that he supports federation with Palestinians, but not at this time: "It should be with a sovereign independent Palestinian state and based on the will of the Jordanian and Palestinian nations."
Rawabdeh led the 84th Jordanian government and the first during the reign of current King Abdullah II, between March 1999 and June 2000.