Prince William Makes Historic Visit To Jordan

Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah (R) greets Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at Amman’s Marka military airport on June 24, 2018. KHALIL MAZRAAWI / AFP

 

Prince William flew into Jordan on Sunday at the launch of a Middle East tour that will see him become the first British royal to pay official visits to both Israel and the Palestinian territories.

He was greeted at Amman’s Marka military airport by Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, hosting William for the two-day visit in Jordan.

The 36-year-old Duke of Cambridge’s Royal Air Force plane touched down at the small airport in eastern Amman, where he was given a red-carpet welcome by the heir to the Jordanian throne.

Royal guards carrying rifles fitted with bayonets and wearing Jordan’s traditional red-and-white chequered keffiyeh scarves stood to attention as the prince, in a dark suit, descended from the plane.

The visit by the second in line to the British throne has been billed as a chance to bond with 23-year-old Prince Hussein, a fellow graduate of Britain’s Royal Sandhurst Military Academy.

On Sunday evening, William attended a birthday party in honour of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose official 92nd birthday was celebrated on June 9, at the British ambassador’s residence.

“I greatly admire the resilience you in Jordan have shown in the face of the many security and humanitarian challenges that have confronted you as a result of conflicts in this region,” William said at the party.

“The way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable,” he said.

“In so many ways, Jordan as an open and stable society is a beacon of hope for many other people in the Middle East.”

On Monday, William will visit the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, north of the capital, as well as a vocational training college for young Jordanians and Syrian refugees.

That evening, he will begin his history-making visit to the Jewish state and occupied West Bank during which he will meet both Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

 Seeds of conflict 

Kensington Palace has underlined the “non-political nature of His Royal Highness’s role — in common with all royal visits overseas”.

But the region is a minefield of sensitivities.

The visit comes at a particularly volatile time after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as capital of Israel and moved Washington’s embassy there, sparking Arab outrage and deadly clashes.

Britain governed the region under a League of Nations mandate for almost three decades until Israel’s independence 70 years ago, and is still blamed by both sides for sowing the seeds of a conflict that continues to wrack the region.

Ahead of William’s arrival, the official schedule’s reference to east Jerusalem as “in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” sparked anger among right-wing Israeli politicians.

Official visits by British royals take place at the request of the UK government, but statements from the prince’s household have given little explanation for the timing of this trip.

Israel has long pushed for an official visit by a member of the British monarchy.

Other members of William’s family — including his father Prince Charles — have made unofficial visits to Israel and east Jerusalem in the past.

During the trip, William will have plenty of reminders of Britain’s role in the region.

In Jerusalem, he will stay at the King David hotel, which was Britain’s administrative headquarters during its rule of Palestine prior to Israeli statehood in 1948.

In 1946, militant Jews waging violent resistance against British rule bombed the building, killing and wounding scores of people, many of them British civil servants or military personnel.

Whilst in Jerusalem, William will lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

He will also visit the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and pay tribute at the tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, who has been honoured by Israel for sheltering Jews during World War II.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, he is to hold talks with Abbas and also meet Palestinian refugees and young people.

AFP

Jordan Parliament To Review Peace Treaty With Israel

Lawmakers in Jordan have tasked a parliamentary committee to review all agreements with Israel, including a 1994 peace treaty, following the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Jordan, which is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, accused US President Donald Trump of violating international law with the decision last week.

Meeting late on Sunday, Jordanian lawmakers voted unanimously to authorise the judicial affairs committee to “review all agreements with the Zionist state including Wadi Araba,” official news agency Petra reported.

When it was signed in 1994, the Wadi Araba treaty made Jordan one of only two Arab countries to have reached a peace agreement with Israel, along with Egypt in 1979.

Under Jordan’s constitutional monarchy, only King Abdullah II would have the power to eventually rescind the peace deal with Israel.

AFP

Turkey, Jordan, Iran Condemn Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration

A picture shows the Dome of the Rock mosque and a general view of Jerusalem on December 1, 2017.    THOMAS COEX / AFP

 

Turkey, Jordan and Iran have condemned the announcement by United States President Donald Trump that Washington recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Turkey slammed Trump’s decision on Wednesday as irresponsible and illegal, while Jordan said it amounted to a violation of international law and the UN Charter.

“We condemn the irresponsible statement of the US administration… the decision is against international law and relevant UN resolutions,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.

Ahead of Trump’s widely-flagged announcement Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned after a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II that the move would “play into the hands” of terror groups.

Erdogan has already called a summit meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on December 13 to discuss the issue.

The Turkish foreign ministry added in a statement that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians can only be solved through the creation of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

It warned that the decision by Trump will have “negative reflections on the peace and stability in the region” and risks “completely destroying the ground for peace”.

“We call on the US administration to reconsider this faulty decision which may result in highly negative outcomes,” it added.
Jordan condemned the declaration through the government spokesman Mohammed Momani.
“The decision of the American president to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the transfer of the US embassy to this city constitutes a violation of decisions of international law and the United Nations charter,” said government spokesman Mohammed Momani,” it said.

On its part, Iran warned that the move will spark a ‘new intifada’.

Buhari Arrives Abuja After Trip To Jordan

President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the country after his trip to the coastal city of Aqaba in Jordan where he attended a counter-terrorism summit.

During his trip, the President met with the King of Jordan King Abdullah (II) and discussed the fight against violent extremism in the sub-region West African countries.

President Buhari travelled alongside Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Musa Bello.

See photos below…

 

President Buhari Meets With King Of Jordan

President Buhari has met with the king of Jordan, King Abdullah (II) on the sidelines of the ongoing summit on counter-terrorism in the coastal city of Aqaba in Jordan.

Both leaders discussed the bilateral relationship between their countries and how to strengthen their ties especially in the fight against terrorism.

The meeting was also attended by the foreign affairs ministers of both countries and Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno.

Read Also: Buhari Travels To Jordan With Bello, Others

The conference, tagged ‘Aqaba Retreat’ is being attended by West African heads of states, representatives of governments of 48 countries and a number of key non-governmental organisations.

President Buhari shared Nigeria’s experience on terrorism with the world leaders and also solicited more support for pre-emptive measures that will help neutralise the activities of insurgents in the West African sub-region.

READ ALSO: Buhari Thanks Jordan For Supporting Nigeria’s War Against Terrorism

The two leaders had met in September when President Buhari attended the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

While Buhari assured King Abdullah of Nigeria’s commitment towards the proposed Aqaba Process with countries in the region, the Jordanian King on his part noted that his government was in the process of opening an embassy in Abuja in the months ahead.

He expressed appreciation for the support being extended to his country by the Nigerian government and pledged more support in the fight against terrorism.

Buhari Travels To Jordan For Counter-Terrorism Summit

File photo

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has left Abuja for Jordan to attend a counter-terrorism summit in Aqaba.

The Presidency confirmed the President’s departure in a tweet on Friday afternoon.

The meeting tagged ‘Aqaba Retreat’ will review strategies in fighting terrorism and reinforce joint security structures in preventing attacks.

Hosted by His Majesty, King Abdullah II of Jordan, the summit will also be attended by other West African leaders and representatives of governments of 48 countries among others.

A statement issued Thursday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, had said President Buhari would share Nigeria’s experience on terrorism and its spread across West Africa at the meeting.

He is also expected to solicit more support from the leaders for pre-emptive measures that would neutralise the activities of insurgents in the West African sub-region.

The President, who is accompanied to Jordan by the governors of Kogi, Osun and Niger states, would also hold bilateral meetings with some Heads of State to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and such countries.

President Buhari Arrives In Jordan

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Jordan where he is joining other Heads of State to review strategies in fighting terrorism and reinforcing joint security structures that will be more proactive in preventing terror attacks.

The President arrived the coastal city of Aqaba on Friday, hours after the departed Abuja to attend the summit tagged ‘Aqaba Retreat’.

He is expected to share Nigeria’s experience on terrorism and its spread across West Africa, with a view to soliciting more support for pre-emptive measures that will help neutralise the activities of insurgents in the sub-region.

President Buhari, who travelled along with the governors of Kogi, Osun, and Niger states, will also attend an official dinner to be hosted by King Abdullah II in honour of visiting Heads of State and their delegations.

The conference is being attended by West African leaders, representatives of governments of 48 countries, and a number of key non-governmental organisations.

President Buhari To Attend Counter-Terrorism Summit In Jordan

President Buhari To Attend Counter-Terrorism Meeting In Jordan
File photo

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to attend a counter-terrorism summit in Jordan on December 2 and 3.

A statement issued Thursday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the President would join other Heads of State in Aqaba, to review strategies in fighting terrorism and reinforce joint proactive security structures in preventing attacks.

The meeting tagged ‘Aqaba Retreat’ and hosted by His Majesty, King Abdullah II of Jordan, would be attended by West African leaders, representatives of governments of 48 countries, and a number of key non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

At the meeting, President Buhari is expected to share Nigeria’s experience on terrorism and its spread across West Africa, with a view to soliciting more support for pre-emptive measures that would neutralise the activities of insurgents in the sub-region.

The Nigerian leader will also hold bilateral meetings with some Heads of State to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and such countries.

He would be accompanied to Jordan by the governors of Kogi, Osun and Niger states, as well as the ministers of defence, education, and foreign affairs.

Also on the President’s entourage are the National Security Adviser and the acting Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

President Buhari and his delegation are expected to attend the official dinner to be hosted by King Abdullah II in honour of visiting Heads of State and their delegations.

Job Fair Offers Hope For Syria Refugees In Jordan

Australia, refugees

After five years without work, Syrian refugee Mohammed Ahmad was nervous but hopeful as he registered with as many firms as possible at a unique job fair in Jordan’s sprawling Zaatari camp where he lives.

Around 50 companies were represented at the one-day event Wednesday as they scouted for candidates to fill some 1,000 job opportunities, compiling lists of applicants by name, age and qualification.

The EU-funded job fair, a first at the desert camp that houses some 80,000 refugees, comes after the launch in August of the only employment office at Zaatari following a decision by the Jordanian government to grant residents work permits and let them work in larger towns.

For father of four Ahmad, who fled from Daraa in southern Syria just across the border, the project could provide a vital lifeline.

“I’ve been living in this camp for five years and spend most of my time sitting around or sleeping,” the 34-year-old former farmer.

“Living conditions are very hard here and I hope to get a job that will save us from this.”

Ahmad admitted he was “in desperate need of money” as his family struggles to get by on the roughly $30 per person they get each month in credit to spend at the desert camp’s two markets.

In comparison the monthly salaries for the jobs offered at the fair, also supported by the United Nation’s UNHCR refugee agency and the Jordanian government, rise up to 210 dinars ($300).

Overall, since the launch of the employment office at Zaatari, some 3,000 Syrians have used the facilities to help secure work in the agriculture, industrial and food-processing sectors, organisers said.

The long-term aim is eventually to provide 200,000 job opportunities for the Syrian refugees spread across Jordan, said the EU ambassador to the kingdom, Andrea Fontana.

According to the UNHCR, more than 650,000 refugees have fled to Jordan since their country’s war erupted in March 2011, while Amman says the actual figure is 1.3 million.

The UNHCR representative to Jordan, Stefano Severe, said both sides stand to benefit.

“I am confident that having an increased number of Syrians entering the labour market will positively impact the local economy and bring stability to refugee families,” he said in a statement.

– ‘Everybody excited’ in camp –

Dressmaker Sheikha Fadlallah, 54, says the project has become a hot topic in the Zaatari camp, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of the Jordanian capital Amman.

“Everybody here is excited about the idea of finding work,” she said. “I need to get a job to pay to fix my teeth. They’re completely messed up.”

From the employer’s point of view, the tens of thousands of residents in the camp offer a large pool of abilities from which to select candidates.

Yussef al-Khawalda, an agent with an agricultural firm, said he needed 16 employees for animal care.

“I hope they all find jobs because it’s very sad to see so many people with potential who are just sitting around doing nothing,” said Mahmud Jallal, looking for 30 recruits for his pastry factory.

But many face disappointment.

“I haven’t found a job. I’ve spoken to representatives of three companies, all of who told me I’m old and they’re looking for young people,” said Ihsan al-Masri, 46.

Masri, a father of seven and former van driver, said he had offered to do “any job, security guard or garbage collector, but in vain”.

Fellow refugee Nassib Mohammed Saleh, at 76, is nostalgic for the pre-war days when he ran his own business back home and had three employees.

“Believe me, all I have left is this dinar,” he said, pulling a coin out of his pocket.

AFP

Buhari Meets With Ghana’s President, King Of Jordan

President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently in New York, United States for the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly has on Wednesday met with some world leaders.
President Buhari alongside the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama met with the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and the King of Jordan King Abdullah II.
More Photos below…

Buhari Thanks Jordan For Supporting Nigeria’s War Against Terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari has thanked the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for its support to Nigeria’s campaign against terrorism and insurgency with the donation of military hardware and pledge to further supply helicopters.

The President gave the appreciation during a bilateral meeting with King Abdullah II on Tuesday, shortly after his address to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He said the very expensive donation of about 200 Armoured Fighting Vehicles “reflects true concern for Nigeria’s security situation and genuine goodwill towards a friendly nation.”

President Buhari also reassured King Abdullah of Nigeria’s commitment towards the proposed Aqaba Process with countries in the region, as well as the nation’s willingness to play a leading role in bringing together countries in the West African sub-region into the collective security arrangement.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by his Special Adviser on media and publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President pledged Nigeria’s continued desire for enhanced bilateral ties with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Earlier, the Jordanian King had informed the Nigerian President that his government was in the process of opening an embassy in Abuja in the next few months, and appreciated the support being extended to his country by the Nigerian government in this regard.

He told President Buhari that his National Security Adviser would soon be working out the finer details of the Aqaba Process with his Nigerian counterpart.

President Buhari was accompanied to the bilateral meeting by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Tijjani Bande.

The Jordanian King had offered a hand of friendship, cooperation and support for Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and insurgency.

This resulted in the National Security Adviser undertaking two visits to Jordan to follow up on issues previously discussed with the King, and the donation of military hardware and pledge of further support.

According to the statement, the gestures are aimed at enhancing Nigeria’s operational capabilities in the fight against terror, both within the country and the Lake Chad Basin which affects neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger where the Multinational Joint Task Force is engaging the Boko Haram insurgents and terrorists.

The National Security Adviser’s second trip to Jordan on the invitation of the King in January 2016 to attend the third Aqaba Process, also resulted in a renewed commitment between the two countries to consider multilateral action in confronting the menace of terrorism by replicating the Aqaba arrangement which the Kingdom of Jordan has with East African countries battling protracted terrorist menace.

UK, U.S. Ban Electronic Devices On Flights

UK, U.S. Ban Electronic Devices On FlightsThe United States and United Kingdom have announced a new ban on laptops on passenger flights from the Middle East and some North African countries.

The British ban, which was announced a few hours after the American ban, was similar but applied to different airlines.

According to the UK, airline passengers on 14 carriers would not be able to carry laptops in cabin luggage on inbound direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

In its reaction, Turkey condemned the U.S. ban as wrong, and advised it be reversed.

The nine airlines affected by the U.S. ban are Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Arlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.

The ban takes effect on Saturday, with no end date in sight.