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King Abdullah says Jerusalem a red line, no to alternative homeland

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah, the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF), affirmed on Tuesday that “the future of Jerusalem and Palestine is a red line for Jordan”.

Speaking during a meeting at the JAF General Command, King Abdullah stressed that the position of the Kingdom and all Jordanians is unwavering on Jerusalem and on any attempts to create an alternative homeland for the Palestinians in Jordan, according to a Royal Court statement.

His Majesty said the decision to cancel his visit to Romania was over Jerusalem.

“As I said in Zarqa and as I have continued to say over perhaps the past 15 years — Jerusalem and the future of Palestine is a red line for Jordan. I don’t know what more I can say to make it clear!” the King said at the meeting, attended by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat, heads of security agencies, and a number of senior army and security officers.

His Majesty criticised those questioning Jordan’s unequivocal position, underscoring that “this is the position of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and all Jordanians”.

The King said his recent remarks in Zarqa on the “Hashemite state” was directed at those cynics.

“As a Hashemite, how can I back down on Jerusalem? Impossible. This is a red line. No on Jerusalem; no to an alternative homeland, no to resettlement [for Palestinians in Jordan],” His Majesty affirmed.

The King warned against those who spread negativity and doubts “amongst us as Jordanians, as institutions and as a state”, calling for a national campaign to counter doubters.

His Majesty warned against the danger of these campaigns to spread doubts, describing them as ammunition for Jordan’s enemies, the statement added.

“How long can this continue?” the King asked. “Those speaking against us and against Jordan are adding fuel to the fire.”

His Majesty said Jordan is aware of the economic challenges it is facing and working to alleviate poverty and unemployment, warning that doubters must not be given the chance to spread their harm.

The King criticised unfounded claims circulated regarding the “deal of the century” or “the alternative homeland”.

“Don’t we have a voice? We are the brave Arab Army. We have a history in Jerusalem and in Palestine. We have a voice and a position,” His Majesty affirmed.

The King said his tour — which starts on Wednesday and includes Morocco, Italy, France and Tunisia, where His Majesty will attend the Arab summit — will focus on Jerusalem and the peace process.

During the meeting at the General Command of the JAF, His Majesty was also briefed by Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs for Intelligence Brig. Gen. Nasser Mheirat on the northern and eastern borders, according to the Royal Court.

The King also checked on the readiness of JAF formations, commending the advanced level of their personnel in terms of preparedness, armament and training.

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