King kingdom

Jordan’s king protests Iran-backed militia attacks on border, welcomes PA’s Abbas

King Abdullah II has blamed a string of recent deadly clashes with drug traffickers along the Jordan-Syria border on “Iran-linked militias”.

In an interview published in Al-Rai newspaper on Sunday, Abdullah claimed that Jordan faces “regular attacks on its borders by Iran-linked militias”. He called for “a change in behavior from Iran” and said Jordan “does not want tensions in the region”.

“Jordan, like the rest of the Arab countries, seeks good relations with Iran, with mutual respect, good neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty of other states and non-interference in their affairs,” the official said. King.

Abdullah said Jordan, like other Arab countries, was the target of drug and arms traffickers who he said were in transit to Europe.

“Jordan coordinates with its brothers [Arab countries] to deal with it and protect its borders,” he said.

The Jordanian army regularly carries out anti-smuggling operations on the border with Syria, where Iranian-backed fighters are backing the Damascus regime in a civil war that erupted in 2011.

This file photo provided Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, by government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows Iranian Army Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri, left, looks through binoculars during his visit and other senior Iranian military officers. a front line in the northern province of Aleppo, Syria. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

On January 27, Amman said his forces had killed 27 drug traffickers backed by armed groups, seizing a large quantity of drugs. An officer and a border guard were killed in a similar clash earlier the same month.

According to organizations that monitor drug trafficking, captagon, an increasingly popular amphetamine-type stimulant, is produced in government-controlled areas of Syria and marketed almost exclusively in the Middle East.

Also on Sunday, Abdallah hosted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at his palace in Amman for their fourth meeting in five months.

Abbas briefed Abdullah on “the latest political developments in Palestine and the challenges facing our people as a result of the continued Israeli crimes”, according to the official PA news agency Wafa.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman, July 24, 2022. (WAFA)

“The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and common issues between the two brotherly countries, as well as the latest political developments in the region,” the agency said.

The couple also discussed US President Joe Biden’s recent visit to the region, which included stops in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Abdullah “underscored the firm stance of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan towards the Palestinian cause and the kingdom’s unwavering support for the Palestinian people to achieve their just and legitimate rights”, according to Wafa.

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