Jordanian intensifies campaign against Syria
Jordan-Syria, Politics, 10/16/1998
Jordanian prisoners in Syria and Lebanon's Michael Aoun seem to be two new elements used in accusations by Jordan against Syria in their tumultuous relations.
Jordan has directed criticism against Syria for the last 10 days in protest of statements attributed to Syrian Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Mustafa Tlass, in which he said: "The Jordanians prevented the arrival of the Saudi troops to the battlefield in the Syrian Golan during the October War in 1973."
Jordanian Information Minister Nasser Jouda on Tuesday spoke moderately concerning Syria. He said in press statements that the Jordanian position is "identical" with the Syrian position concerning the Turkish threats. However, numerous negative statements and articles are still being published daily in the mainstream Jordanian press.
Lawyer Imad Sherqawi, in his capacity as "chairman of the committee of families of Jordanian detainees in Syria" announced a meeting of the committee, and intensive coverage was observed. On Wednesday, the committee observed a sit-in before the Jordanian Parliament and the Parliament speaker received a memorandum, appealing for efforts to release the Jordanian detainees in Syria. In press statements on Wednesday, Information Minister Jouda said that number of Jordanian detainees in Syrian prisons totaled 700 prisoners and detainees.
Some noted that this event coincided with the visit made by the Israeli Premier Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon to Amman.
On Wednesday, the Jordanian daily al-Dostour interviewed by phone Lebanese separatist Michael Aoun at his residence in Paris. Aoun described Tlass's statements as a policy "Syria embarks on whenever it faces a crisis with Israel or Turkey." Aoun accused Syria of "always violating stability in Jordan and interfering in the affairs of Jordan."
It is not clear if these events are a mere Jordanian reaction to the attributed Tlass comments, but observers in the Jordanian capital, Amman, expect "using of more Lebanese opposition elements if Jordan will decide to continue the (media) campaign against Syria."
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