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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King: National Unity Is a Red Line Can`t be Tampered with
Amman, 10 April 2002

His Majesty King Abdullah II on Wednesday affirmed that national unity is a 'red line' that can not be tampered with and that a strong Jordan is the most capable to support Palestinian brothers in their present ordeal. Speaking during an unplanned visit to the Interior Ministry where he attended a meeting bringing together Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb with presidents of professional associations and political parties' leaders, King Abdullah ‘safeguarding national unity is a collective responsibility that should be shouldered by both the government and the civil society organizations and all citizens.' ‘Our national unity is a red line that we will not allow anyone to trespass.' King Abdullah said. The Jordanian government's contacts are directed now to mobilize efforts with the United States and other international parties to interfere immediately and put an end to Israeli atrocities and to lift the siege on President Arafat. During the meeting, which was also attended by Chief of the Royal Court, King Abdullah said that Jordan's efforts and continuous contacts with all parties and coordination, particularly with the Palestinian leadership, have succeeded in activating the U.S. position . That was clearly illustrated through U.S. President's call for an immediate pull out of Israeli troops. The King also pointed to the current visit of Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region and his expected meeting with President Arafat this week end. King Abdullah called for maintaining a rational behaviour and urged party leaders and professional associations to undertake their responsibilities in preserving the national unity and the country's stability and security. The King expressed his anger about what is happening to the Palestinian brothers . ‘I am more angry than you are…' King Abdullah said. He called on the people to put to use the international positions which reject the Israeli attacks putting aside excessive sentiments which can never help the Palestinians to regain their legitimate rights. King Abdullah said he has asked the government to give a chance to citizens to express their feelings towards Palestinian brethren in a responsible way. There are irresponsible groups whose aim is to sabotage private and public properties, the King added. For his part, Prime Minister Abul Ragheb updated party leaders and chiefs of professional associations with the development of events on the Palestinian scene. He reaffirmed Jordan's firm stand in providing continuous support to Palestinian brothers and their legitimate leadership represented by President Arafat. He said Israeli flagrant aggression provoked feelings of outrage amidst Arab people particularly the Jordanians because of the unique Jordanian-Palestinian relationship. However, the Prime Minister regretted irresponsible acts of some outlawed groups, who used demonstrations over the past two weeks to stir riots and to vandalize public and private properties. Freedom of speech should not be exercised at the expense of the freedom of others and the expense the national interest, the Prime Minister said. Law should be observed when staging demonstrations and marches of protest, he added. No state in the world can afford absorbing, with the highest degree of responsibility and self-constraint, such a large number of demonstrations which reached more than 400 in one week, the Prime Minister said. He rejected attempts by others who tried to defame Jordan and cast doubts on its stand at a time when we are badly in need of consolidating Arab solidarity. Responding to the demand to cut off Jordan's diplomatic ties with Israel and oust Israeli Ambassador in Amman, the Prime Minister said ‘Jordan is determined to use its diplomatic relations with Israel to assist Palestinian brothers economically, politically and financially since Jordan is the only gateway to bring in aid to the Palestinian territories.'