In his tour abroad, Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour chose Jordan as his second stop after Saudi Arabia, apparently to mobilize more political support for his country. It was reported that the Jordan visit, which lasted hours, avoided the outstanding issues between the two countries, especially the issue of natural gas, which Egypt stopped exporting to Amman.
Yesterday, [Oct. 8] Mansour sent a cable to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz thanking Saudi Arabia for its “dignified and courageous stands in favor of the will of the Egyptian people.” Mansour expressed his appreciation for “fruitful consultations that took place in an atmosphere of cordiality and understanding regarding the issues that concern the Arab and Islamic nations, as well as regional and international issues of common interest, bilateral issues and the cooperation between us.” He lauded “the deep, brotherly relations and strong bonds of friendship between our two countries and peoples, and your courageous stands in favor of the will of the Egyptian people. [Those stands] are helping Egypt overcome the difficulties it is passing through.”
At the conclusion of the visit to Saudi Arabia, Saudi Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz told Mansour, “Egypt is in good hands, and the Egyptians have shown their ability to overcome crises, God willing. Egypt’s strength is the Arab world’s strength.”
The Jordanian Royal Court said in a statement that Mansour’s meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II yesterday “focused on ways to develop bilateral relations and on a number of regional and international issues.” The statement quoted the Jordanian monarch saying that his country “considers sisterly Egypt as an important and essential country in its Arab and regional surroundings, and supports the Egyptians’ choices, which will promote national unity and enable Egypt, in all its components, to consolidate its security and stability, and restore its position and leading role.”
The statement added that the talks “dealt with efforts to achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil, according to the two-state solution and the Arab peace initiative.” The statement added that developments in the Syrian crisis were discussed and that “the king reaffirmed Jordan’s position in support of a comprehensive political solution to the crisis that would end the suffering of the brotherly Syrian people and maintain the unity of Syria’s land and people.”
Mansour said, “[My country] is keen on maintaining coordination with Jordan on the various challenges facing the Arab nation at this stage, especially how to deal with the Syrian crisis in a way that ends the suffering of the brotherly Syrian people.”
King Abdullah II hosted a lunch in honor of the interim Egyptian president and his delegation. The lunch was attended by senior officials from both sides. An official reception was given to Mansour in the royal offices at al-Hamar, located west of Amman. The king was at the forefront of those who received Mansour.
In Jordan, there were differing attitudes toward the visit. The former government spokesperson, Minister Samih al-Maaytah told Al-Hayat that Mansour’s visit is “welcomed by several circles ... The Egyptian president sought, during his tour, to thank a number of countries that stood with Egypt during its recent ordeal. He also sought to empower a new Arab axis in the face of another axis that refuses to accept the recent changes and maintains its support for the Muslim Brotherhood ... Mansour’s visit to Amman had a political character, but did not address the details of the outstanding issues between the two parties, such as the gas issue.”
Jordan was considerably harmed since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak two years ago as a result of frequent flow interruptions of Egyptian gas. That has cost the state treasury about 5 billion Jordanian dinars [$7.06 billion]. Jordanian officials said the continued interruptions are “the real reason” behind the country’s economic crisis. Before the pipeline supplying Jordan and Israel with gas was subject to repeated bombings, Jordan was importing from Egypt 80% of its gas needs to produce electricity, or about 6.8 million cubic meters per day.
In contrast, the leader of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, Murad Adayleh, condemned Mansour’s visit, which he said “doesn’t express the view of Jordan’s people.” He said that Mansour’s visit to Amman “is a clear provocation to Jordanians because it represents an odious military coup that overthrew the aspirations and hopes of the Egyptian people and killed thousands of them.” He said that the visit “harms Jordan’s image in front of the Egyptian people.”
A few days ago, the Jordanian public prosecutor ordered the arrest of three activists for possessing posters bearing the four-finger Rabia al-Adawiya symbol. The military prosecutor charged two detainees with committing “acts that are not authorized by the government, harm relations and expose the kingdom to hostile acts.” The remaining detainee was charged with insulting heads of state. He apparently had sent messages attacking Egypt’s Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
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