Former Jordanian premier critical of Jordanian policy
Jordan, Politics, 6/25/1998
Former Jordanian Prime Minister Taher al-Masri has expressed pessimism over the possibility for a change to take place in the Jordanian official policy towards internal detente and return to the Arab ranks, especially toward reconciliation with Syria and Iraq.
In a statement to the Lebanese daily as-Safir issued yesterday, al-Masri said there is an unswerving Jordanian policy towards deepening its alliance with Turkey and Israel under the US umbrella, and he warned against the degree of Israeli penetration into the Jordanian economy.
He told as-Safir that Jordan had recently adopted a negative position toward convening an Arab summit and toward the initiative proposed by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah to maintain understanding with Syria.
He said that a reshuffle in the current Jordanian government is not conducive to a change in policy, because what is needed is a change in policy rather than in faces. He noted that the Jordanian - Syrian dispute is a political one which has exceeded figures, friendship and personal connections, as-Safir reported.
He continued that the dispute between the two sides centered on two points: The attitude towards the "dying" peace process, a matter which necessitates Arab efforts in search of alternatives, noting that an Arab summit is the best place to decide on an Arab strategy to deal with the coming phase and that Jordan is concerned more than any Arab side in this respect.
Al-Masri, told as-Safir, the second point is that the Jordanian official policy has gone far toward strengthening its political and military alliance with both Turkey and Israel under the U.S. umbrella. On alternatives available before the Palestinian government after the collapse of the Oslo accords, al-Masri said that alternatives have become very limited. On Iraqi - Jordanian relations, al-Masri said Jordanian official statements do not reflect the actual Jordanian stand towards Iraq.
He noted the sharp change in the Jordanian position over the past four years. He added that the Jordanian official policy is fully committed to the US position concerning Iraq and said that Jordan has acted toward Iraq in a way that not only violates Arab national interests, but also Jordanian economic interests, as-Safir reported.
Al-Masri indicated the great dangers inflicted against Jordan, which he said has become the target of Israeli greedy ambitions after Palestine.
He said that Israeli activities proceed in three directions: investment in Amman's financial market, buying lands at the mediation of middle men and manipulating Jordanian industry, as-Safir reported.
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