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A very brave, drastic King Abdullah decision

Oct 23,2018 - Last updated at Oct 23,2018

King Abdullah’s resolute and unwavering leadership has once again manifested itself so glaringly in his strict decision not to renew some parts of Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel.

In a statement on Sunday, His Majesty King Abdullah announced that Jordan took a decision to terminate the Baqoura and Ghumar annexes in the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty.

“Baqoura and Ghumar have always been at the top of our priorities… our decision is to terminate the Baqoura and Ghumar annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and the Jordanians,” said the king in a Tweet on his official Twitter account.

Directly, or through their representatives in Parliament, Jordanians have indeed been debating the future of the two areas, clearly demanding the return of those lands to where they belong.

If, 25 years ago, it was deemed inevitable for the Jordanian government to tolerate a compromise for the sake of peace, times have now changed. 

Not only out of his usual consideration for his people’s sentiments regarding such a vital national matter has the Jordanian monarch so drastically and resolutely made his decision, but also out of his own conscientious responsible leadership towards his country’s sovereignty and the inviolability of Jordanian soil.

If it is indeed the case that we, the Jordanians, are accustomed to such heroic Royal decisions which come as no surprise after having experienced the unique abilities and unwavering positions of King Abdullah in handling perpetual crises and massive challenges both at home and regionally, this may not be the case for others.

There are those who have always believed that the extended economic crisis Jordan has had to cope with, year after year, and the country’s dependence on economic assistance from the United States would curtail Jordan's ability for such bold and independent decisions. All along, these sceptics have been proven wrong. 

Every time there was an infringement on Jordanian sovereignty, a threat to our national interests or a violation of Jordanian citizensí rights, King Abdullah’s countermeasure was instant. Not once did he ever barter any material or financial benefits, however vital, for the integrity of the country or the rights of its people. Not once did King Abdullah allow any amount of external pressure to influence his fully independent decisions that are always tailored to fit the country’s best interests. 

Did that lead to some hardships and difficulties? Yes. There was always a price for principled, courageous, strict and honourable decisions. But neither the King nor the Jordanian people did, or would, submit to pressure for the sake of material benefits.

To cite a few recent examples:

We are well aware of the pressure Jordan has been subjected to in order to accept the so-called “deal of the century”; the yet-to-see the light US plan to liquidate, rather than justly resolve, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The reason why this year-old project remains under wraps is because King Abdullah was firmly and unequivocally opposed to leaked parts of the plan.

Contrary to many sceptics’ and cynics’ expectations, King Abdullah led Arab, Islamic as well as international effort to counter the illegal American measures regarding Jerusalem. The unilateral US decision to grant Jerusalem to Israel and to move the US embassy there in flagrant violation of international law was overturned by UN General Assembly resolutions rejecting the US action and affirming the status of the city as illegally occupied.

And by consolidating the Hashemite custodianship of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem against sinister intrigues to the contrary, King Abdullah’s relentless efforts have succeeded in preventing the worst. The situation remains critical as Israel’s violations of signed agreements are routine. But so are the King’s efforts to protect the city and its sacred shrines.

Most recently, and as part of the infamous “deal of the century”, Jordan had to strongly oppose a fresh machination; when approached with a mischievous proposal to agree to replace UNRWA and take full responsibility for more than 2.5 million Palestinian refugees residing in the country since 1948. Apparently and with the intent of tempting Jordan, a sum of money was attached to the dubious offer. The Jordanian rejection was categorical. Jordan spends more on the Palestinian refugees in the country than UNRWA does. But the plan to abolish UNRWA, by stopping all aid to the UN agency, is not related to financing difficulties. It is based on the Israeli belief that abolishing UNRWA would abolish the Palestinian refugee problem and would terminate the internationally recognised right of return.

Because the Palestinian cause is always at the top of King Abdullah's priorities, he resisted all pressures. He stands firm, resolute, consistent and unbending.

Last: comes this great decision of King Abdullah to recover Jordanian sovereign control on Jordanian lands that were left for temporary Israeli use since 1994 when the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty was signed.

This is a legitimate Jordanian right. King Abdullah is doing the best and the utmost for his country and his people. He has always been in the forefront in meeting the best expectations of Jordanian citizens. The Jordanians are always overwhelmed by their King's heroic, wise and chivalrous leadership.

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