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Premature step

Aug 04,2018 - Last updated at Aug 04,2018

It is reported that some 18 MPs, spearheaded by deputy Tarek Khoury, plan to visit Syria in the upcoming few days, allegedly to boost trade and commerce between Syria and Jordan.

The deputies in question contend that Jordan's economy stands to gain by 20-30 per cent and its industrial production can rise by 70-80 per cent if brotherly relations between Amman and Damascus are magically reestablished. Where and how the deputies in question have arrived at these conclusions and figures is anybody's guess.

Yet, this is not the main issue. Deputies on their own cannot take foreign policy initiatives without the consent and guidance of the government. Foreign policy of Jordan cannot be shaped by a number of MPs no matter how well intentioned they may be.

Reestablishing bridges with Damascus on a political or a commercial level is a solemn decision which should be carefully examined first; a decision that only the government should make and not a few MPs. Besides, some deputies have already voiced their criticism of this bizarre move by some colleagues. Deputy Saleh Armouti, for example, questions the wisdom of this undertaking by some of his fellow MPs and calls it misguided. Armouti says also that such an initiative, if undertaken, would be tantamount to thanking Damascus for all the killings and destruction that it caused Syria during the past eight years. Deputies must not break ranks with their fellow deputies on key policy issues.

That said, irrespective of who is right and who is wrong, MPs cannot and must not on their own undertake foreign policy initiatives without the government first making a position on it before hand. Jordan has not decided yet to reestablish friendly contacts or relations of whatever sort with Damascus. No doubt under certain conditions, bilateral relations between Jordan and Syria would be reestablished. Syria and Jordan are after all two neighbouring Arab countries, with strong historical ties on many levels. Yet, the moment has not arrived for doing so.

MPs should hold their horses, therefore, before they venture into making visits to Syria to meet their counterparts in Damascus. Such a premature step can only complicate relations between the two countries and not bring them closer to one another.

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Comments

EXCELLENT EDITORIAL BECAUSE IT IS LIKE RUNNING PARALLEL GOVERNMENT AT THE SAME TIME ON BEHALF OF ONE COUNTRY. THIS IS A FOREIGN POLICY ISSUE WHICH THE FOREIGN MINISTRY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR AND GIVE THEIR OPINION TO HIS MAJESTY. THE TIMING IS WRONG AS WELL AS THE APPROACH. JORDAN TIMES IS CORRECT WHEN IT USE THE PHRASE THAT THE BROTHERLY RELATIONS BETWEEN AMMAN AND DAMASCUS NEEDS TIME AND THEREFORE CAN NOT MAGICALLY BE REESTABLISHED NOW.

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