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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Abdullah II Meets Members of the Senate
Amman, 24 March 2003

His Majesty King Abdullah II dismissed rumors that there are plans to transfer the military forces that were supposed to launch military operations against Iraq from Turkey to Jordan. He stressed that we were clear and frank from the beginning that Jordan will not be used as a launching pad for any attack against brotherly Iraq.

His Majesty stressed that from the beginning of the military operations against Iraq, we have made contacts with several heads of states and we will continue to work in this direction to see if there is a possibility to stop war as soon as possible and ease its ramifications on our brothers in Iraq and the region in general.

His Majesty added, during a meeting with members of the Senate at the Royal Hashemite Court that was attended by the Prime Minister, the King's Adviser on Security Issues Director of General Intelligence Department and Rapporteur of the National Security Council, Minister of the Royal Hashemite Court, that we will work with our utmost to help our brothers in Iraq and find a solution to this crisis as soon as possible.

With regard to the departure of three Iraqi diplomats, His Majesty said, “I heard from the government that these diplomats had carried out activities beyond their diplomatic mandate”. However His Majesty pointed out that due to the special relations that bind the two countries, we don't mind that these three are replaced with other diplomats in order to allow the Iraqi embassy in Amman to operate freely.

His Majesty said that what happened is a message to everybody that Jordan is willing to welcome everyone and those who come as diplomats should perform the duties they came to carryout and we will act if anyone crosses the line and carryout other duties.

As for the rumors that Jordan is being exposed to in these circumstances, and the passage of military planes through the Jordanian airspace, His Majesty said that “there are no military or combat planes passing through Jordan's airspace towards Iraq, no one can enter the Jordanian airspace”.

His Majesty added that our airspace is open for civil aviation and civil airlines are operating freely which affirms that there are no military planes passing through our airspace.

His Majesty pointed out that there is an enormous humanitarian role that we have to carry out towards our brothers in Iraq to help them overcome these difficult circumstances.

His Majesty said that no one in Jordan is content from the scenes that we have seen on television screens and the suffering to which the brotherly Iraqi people is exposed to. He added that every one of us feels distress and aggravated for what is going on. He indicated that he instructed the government to deal with flexibility with citizens taking part in rallies and demonstrations to express their anger for the suffering of their brothers in Iraq.

His Majesty explained that the world should realize that all of us as Jordanians feel aggravated and distressed for the situation. However, His Majesty added that causing insecurity and destruction is a redline and that messing up with the security of the country does not help neither Jordan nor our brothers in Iraq.

His Majesty called on everyone to work in the spirit of one team and to be united in order to help our Iraqi brethren. He also said that he is confident that our country will overcome these circumstances with strength and solidarity.

His Majesty added that we have to continue the implementation of the economic and social programs of the government in order to develop Jordan and implement our agenda and programs for the year.

His Majesty mentioned that He instructed the government to study the conditions of sectors that were by affected by war in order to look after them and mitigate the ramifications of war and its impact on these sectors.

His Majesty expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Arab brethren and friendly countries that provided economic support to Jordan at this stage.