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Israel ‘playing with fire’ through unilateral actions, violations — Razzaz

By JT - Mar 01,2020 - Last updated at Mar 01,2020

AMMAN — Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said that Jordan's relations with Israel “are at their lowest level” since the signing of the peace treaty between the two sides as a result of unilateral actions by Israel and its violation of the sanctity of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

In an interview with CNN, the prime minister noted that the peace treaty between the two sides “could enter into a state of deep stagnation, and therefore it is definitely at risk”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

In response to a question, Razzaz stressed that Jordan rejects the statements adopted by some inside Israel suggesting that Jordan is Palestine or promoting sending Palestinians to Jordan.

"This is a very serious matter not only for Jordan, but also a threat to the entire region and to its stability. This is nothing but playing with fire in a region that suffers from a state of turmoil,” he stressed.

“Therefore,” he added, “such statements represent a push in the wrong direction, and this is something we strongly oppose.”

In response to a question about Jordan's lack of support for the “deal of the century” and its relation to economic aid from the US, Razzaz affirmed that ties between Jordan and the US are “deep, historical and strategic”.

He added that this has been the case with all US administrations, congress and the people of the US, “so Jordan is not worried whether this strategic relationship will be affected".

However, none of the elements of this plan were discussed with Jordan before its announcement, the prime minister said.

“Jordan will never confuse political aspirations with financial deals," he said.

Answering a question about the government's plans to deal with economic challenges in light of high indebtedness and the unemployment rate, Razzaz stressed that Jordan has a five-year plan that has begun to show positive results in exports and tourism.

The results of this plan meet global indicators such as consumer confidence, ease of doing business and other indicators that put the Jordanian economy on a sustainable path, he noted.

Razzaz said that these results are “remarkable” despite the difficult situation the Kingdom is in, given the closure of borders, the refugee crisis and the consequences of the Arab Spring.

On fighting corruption and managing the economy, the prime minister said that Jordan has empowered all the necessary regulatory institutions and given them sufficient independence to investigate and combat corruption.

“In the same context, we must consider the huge cost resulting from the disruption of Egyptian gas and the cost of hosting 1.3 million Syrian refugees, representing 20 per cent of Jordan's population,” he added.

"We understand citizens’ concerns, as 10 years have passed since the economic recession that followed the Syrian refugee crisis and given the regional situation as a whole, in addition to the high unemployment rates, especially among youth," the premier noted.

"We live in a turbulent neighbourhood," he said.

 "The largest part of the problem has fallen on Jordan’s shoulders since the first day,” he said, highlighting that the Kingdom has become very resilient on the political and economic levels.

"It is not a mere coincidence that we see countries that are 10 times the size of Jordan and have 10 times the size of its economy, unfortunately, collapse and turn into failed states,” he added.

Razzaz stressed that Jordan has remained steadfast due to its stable political environment, which has ensured that people remain united in all circumstances.

 “We may agree and we may disagree, but we remain united behind the Hashemite leadership." 

 

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