AMMAN, Jordan, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Jordan defended its branch of the Muslim Brotherhood Organization which was included in a Russian terrorist list, saying it is a legitimate movement.
Government Spokesman Nasser Jawdeh said Thursday Jordan followed up with great interest Russia's new official list of terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood as a global group.
"The Muslim Brotherhood movement in Jordan specifically is a legitimate group that operates under the constitution and laws and as such has particularities that differentiate it from any other organization that carries the same name in any other country inside or outside the Middle East region," Jawdeh said.
He stressed that Jordan's Brotherhood is a peaceful movement that believes in legitimate work and rejects violence and terrorism while safeguarding civilian peace and the principle of free dialogue as part of political life in Jordan. "It is a responsible national opposition group which is represented in parliament," Jawdeh added.
The government's defense of the Brotherhood is the strongest since a crisis broke out between them two months ago when Islamist legislators offered condolences for Abu Musab Zarqawi, the head of al-Qaida in Iraq who was slain in a U.S. air attack near Baghdad. The government then slammed the legislators' move as encouraging terrorism.
At the same time, Jawdeh underscored Jordan's deep and strong relations with Russia and its appreciation of Moscow's "leading role in support of Arab causes and the region's stability."
In addition to the Muslim Brotherhood, Russia's newly unveiled terrorism blacklist included al-Qaida and Afghanistan's Taliban Movement.