AMMAN — The government on Sunday said Israel will not participate in the imminent joint military exercise “Eager Lion 2013”, slated for the upcoming weeks.

The annual military drill will witness the “participation of 18 Arab and foreign countries, but Israel is not one of them”, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and Government Spokesperson Mohammed Momani said.

The two-week drill will be held with the participation of more than 15,000 troops.

During a press conference held on Sunday in Amman, Momani noted that participating states will be announced later.

Over 12,000 participants from 18 nations took part in the 2012 military manoeuvres.

The exercise is not meant as a message to any of the neighbouring countries, including Syria, according to senior military commanders.

The 2013 version of the drill is expected to kick off in few weeks, in various areas in the Kingdom.

The drill aims to increase the level of coordination among civil, military and humanitarian organisations.

The 2012 drill sought to enhance cooperation and coordination with all governmental and non-governmental organisations.

It also aimed at boosting cooperation among the participating states and enhancing the readiness of their troops.