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Cabinet labels Jordan’s presidency of 28th Arab summit as success

Momani reiterates Kingdom’s sovereignty over Baqoura, Ghumar

By JT - Apr 16,2018 - Last updated at Apr 16,2018

State Minister for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani speaks to reporters at a press briefing following the Cabinet meeting on Monday (Photo by Sahem Rababaa)

AMMAN — Since assuming the presidency of the Arab summit last year, His Majesty King Abdullah managed to steer the focus of pan-Arab action towards priority issues, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted Prime Minister Hani Mulki as saying on Monday.

Chairing a meeting of the Cabinet, Mulki praised His Majesty's speech at the 29th Arab summit held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in which he focused on the “most important issues that are the Palestinian issue, Jerusalem, the war against terrorism and enhancing pan-Arab action”.

Jordan has led the Arab nation and the world's efforts to enhance the centrality of the Palestinian cause and help build international consensus to reject the US decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.

At a press conference following the meeting, State Minister for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani said that the Council of Ministers discussed the presidency of Jordan of last year's Arab summit, during which, he said,  focus was placed on Jerusalem and its political and religious significance, and the importance of the holy city as a symbol of peace.

Momani stressed that Jordan is “proud” to be playing the role of Jerusalem’s protector on behalf of the Arab and Muslim nations under the Hashemite custodianship over the Muslim and Christian holy places in the city.   

He said that Jordan also focused on fighting terrorism, stressing that the Kingdom has not spared any opportunity and harnessed its global contacts to highlight the importance of fighting terror within a holistic approach that incorporates the military, security and ideological aspects.

Momani, who is also the government’s spokesperson, praised King Abdullah’s efficient presidency of the summit over the past year till handing it over to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The minister wished success for King Salman Bin Abdulaziz in leading the pan-Arab action dealing with the nation’s paramount issues.      

Regarding the other main decisions taken by the Cabinet, the minister noted that the government has cancelled the tax exemption on hybrid vehicles after the measure realised its goal, which is having this type of vehicles popular in the Kingdom.

He stressed that hybrids are still totally exempted from the 93 per cent special tax paid by regular gasoline cars, noting that “in the next few years, Jordanian cities will witness proliferation of electric cars”.

On the expected amendments to the Income Tax Law, Momani said that the government is studying a draft law with focus on two main points that are intensifying penalties on tax evasion and designing efficient mechanisms of tax collection to serve social justice through a cumulative basis of taxation.

He said that the draft is currently in its final technical phase.

Answering a question on the Baqoura and Ghumar areas that were restored from Israel under the 1994 peace treaty, the government’s spokesperson reiterated that they are under the territorial sovereignty of Jordan, “and we will take the decision that best serves national interests” regarding a renewal of a lease agreement with Israel as the 25-year deal will expire next year. 

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