AMMAN, Jordan, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Qatar's Security Council choice to abstain from the vote for the Jordanian candidate for U.N. secretary-general worsened relations between the two countries.
But that issue was only the "straw that broke the camel's back," according to a Jordanian official who noted that a silent conflict has been simmering between Amman and Doha for more than five years.
The official, who spoke to United Press International on condition of anonymity, said Thursday Jordan's summoning of its ambassador from Doha last week was not the first time the envoy had been recalled, but that it had happened in the past five years following differences between the two countries.
The source said his country will not take additional measures for the time being, "and if more steps should be taken they will be announced in due time."
He was referring to calls by Jordanian politicians and government officials to close the offices of the Qatari al-Jazeera television in Amman.
In 2002, Jordan recalled its ambassador in Qatar in the wake of an al-Jazeera interview with Syrian academic Asaad Khalil during which he criticized the Jordanian royal family.
Jordan considered the matter "slandering and harmful" to bilateral relations, and closed down the al-Jazeera office in Amman.
In 2003, the Qatari authorities arrested Jordanian citizen Firas al-Majali, who worked at Qatar's national television, on charges of spying for the Jordanian government. Al-Majali was tried and convicted and sentenced to death, but the emir of Qatar granted him a pardon in 2004.
Jordanian diplomats believe the tension between Qatar and Jordan goes back to 1998, when a Jordanian judge at the International Court in The Hague voted in favor of Bahrain in a conflict with Qatar over the ownership of disputed islands.