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Jordan considering security before allowing Syrians to vote

By Khetam Malkawi - May 13,2014 - Last updated at May 13,2014

AMMAN — Approving or rejecting the Syrian authorities’ request to allow its nationals in the Kingdom to vote in the upcoming presidential elections, hinges on the country’s security, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the government is still considering the request it has received from the Syrian embassy in Amman for allowing Syrians vote in their country’s upcoming elections.

“We do not interfere in the Syria’s affairs, but if a decision [allowing Syrians here to vote] will affect our security, we have the right,” to take the appropriate measure, Judeh told the press in response to a question during a press conference he held Tuesday to announce the release of Jordanian Ambassador to Libya Fawaz Aitan.

 

The minister added that there is a state of polarisation among Syrians living in Jordan and “we do not want anything that might affect the security of our country”.

According to the latest official figures, around 1.3 million Syrians reside in Jordan.

Over 600,000 of them are registered as refugees, while the rest are not registered as some of them came to the country before the start of crisis in their homeland.

The upcoming Syrian presidential elections are slated for June 3, according to reports, while Syrians residing abroad will cast their votes at their country’s embassies on May 28.

Currently, three candidates are running for the elections, including incumbent President Bashar Assad.

The other two are Maher Hajjar and Hassan Abdullah Al Nouri.

The UN says over 150,000 have been killed so far in the Syrian civil war, which started with peaceful anti-regime protests in 2011.

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