Jordan not to break ties with Israel

By IMAD YOUSSEF  |  April 4, 2002 at 9:55 AM
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AMMAN, Jordan, April 4 (UPI) -- Cutting ties with Israel would harm Palestinian interests and "other measures" could be taken to condemn Israel's actions in the Palestinian territories, Jordan's foreign minister told United Press International Thursday.

Foreign Minister Marwan al Muashir said his country, which is one of two Arab states that have signed peace deals with Israel, said scrapping the accord would open the door for Israel to abrogate other agreements and harm Jordanian, Palestinian and Arab interests.

"There are other measures which we can take to convey the message to Israel that it cannot go beyond certain limits," Muashir said, adding all options were open except the canceling of the 1994 Wadi Araba treaty.

Arab states have criticized Israeli action in the West Bank and have blasted Jordan and Egypt -- the two Arab states with ties to Israel -- for maintaining those relations. On Wednesday, Egypt announced it had cut all but diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Muashir also said his country would close its borders in case the Israeli government expelled the Palestinians into Jordan.

"We have issued orders to close all border crossings into the West Bank to avert any possible mass or partial exodus of the Palestinians toward Jordan," he said, adding Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt were working together to prevent any such action.

Recent monitoring of crossings points between Jordan and the West Bank showed more people crossing into the Palestinian territories than entering Jordan, he said.

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