AMMAN — The government on Monday reiterated to The Jordan Times that it does not have a special relationship with any party involved in the Syrian crisis, responding to “baseless” reports in the international and local media that claim Jordan is taking sides in the conflict.
Over the past week, the media has published conflicting reports on Jordan’s political standpoint towards the Syrian conflict. There have been recent claims in the media that Jordan is providing fuel to the Syrian regime to sustain its military machinery, while other reports claimed that the Jordan Armed Forces are working in cooperation with foreign military troops to train Syrian opposition fighters within the Kingdom.
“The reports contradict each other and make no sense. How can we provide one side with fuel for its jetfighters and war tanks while at the same time train fighters from the opposition?” Minister of State for Communications and Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Samih Maaytah told The Jordan Times on Sunday.
“Since the Syrian crisis broke out, we have maintained a neutral position, supporting a diplomatic and peaceful solution to the problem. In parallel, we have undertaken a humanitarian responsibility towards the Syrian refugees who sought refuge in the Kingdom,” Maaytah said.
Jordan has opened its borders to over 400,000 Syrians since the onset of the conflict in March 2011. UN officials expect rising violence in the country to drive an additional 300,000 Syrians into Jordan by the end of June, with predictions of the refugee community growing to one million by the end of the year.
He stressed that the government holds a diplomatic position in regards to the violence, encouraging all parties to engage in dialogue, seeing this as the only way to find a peaceful end to the 23-month-old conflict.
During a visit to Russia last month, His Majesty King Abdullah discussed the Syrian situation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the two leaders stressed the importance of finding an inclusive political solution to the crisis that will guarantee Syria’s unity and territorial integrity, whilst alleviating the suffering of its people.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Friday delivered a letter from King Abdullah to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, stressing the historic relations between the two countries and the need to end the violence in Syria.