Report: Damascus challenges Amman to give proof
Syria-Jordan, Politics, 10/19/1998
High-ranking Syrian officials circles defied Amman a single name "for a Jordanian official that had disappeared in the Syrian territories." The circles added that it "audits" names submitted by Jordanian officials for persons, most of them are Palestinians arrested in Syria.
In statements to the London-based al-Hayat daily, the Syrian sources regretted Jordan to have carried such a campaign "in the meantime," adding that such a campaign aims at "covering what is taking place in the region" with regard to the Turkish threats against Syria and the "Wye Plantation" negotiations.
The paper added that in press interviews Jordanian Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh said that "officials at Jordanian governmental position" had disappeared during their visit to Syria. He added that some 742 Jordanians were arrested in Syria, while Jordan has 125,000 Syrians working in Jordanian lands.
Tarawneh said that for one year his country has been exposed to a "media campaign" from Syria, including statements made by Syrian Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Mustafa Tlass that Jordan prevented Saudi troops from crossing its borders in order to take part in the October War of 1973.
Moreover the Jordanian Foreign Ministry summoned last week the charge d'affairs at the Syrian embassy in Amman, Wahib Sabir, informing him of strong protests due to the detantion of Jordanians in Syrian prisons without being tried.
The Syrian sources "explained" all these points. It stressed that there is no Jordanian political detainee or official in Syrian jails, defying Amman to give "one single" name. The Syrian officials added that there were Palestinian organizations linked with Jordan to relations which violate the Syrian laws.
"Jordan had complained to Syria to prevent any act against it," the sources added, noting that "now Jordan has changed its mind and criticized the existence of the detainees in Syria."
The sources said, "What is made by Jordan cannot be explained as good intentions." The sources quoted Syrian Tlass as saying, "It is one of the miracles that Bani Sakher tribes normalize relations with Israel. There is not dispute between me and these tribes. I am proud of being from al-Na'eem tribe, which extended in the Golan and in Jordan."
Thereby the Syrian defense minister replied that Jordanian tribes thought they are targeted by his statements that Jordanians had obstructed the passing of Saudi troops to participate in the October war of 1973.
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