The ‘Foreign’ Reshuffle…

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Tue 17 January / Jan 2017. 01:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Wed 18 January / Jan 2017. 08:18 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

After the failed ‘dual head ministry’ experiment, Prime Minister Dr Hani Mulqi’s last reshuffle untangled the overlapped roles of the Foreign Affairs Minister; veteran Minister Nasser Joudeh left with those who were relieved of their duties, concluding a wholesome and interesting journey in Jordanian diplomacy.

Meanwhile, the ‘fresh’ Minister, Dr Bisher Khasawneh, was reassigned as Minister of State for Legal Affairs at the Prime Ministry, due to his extensive legal expertise, which —alongside other vital experience— enables him of sustaining office throughout several consecutive governments. The man is like a legal “mainframe”, especially when it comes to international relations, treaties, and pacts, which is evident from his time as Ambassador to Cairo.

Heading the department of foreign affairs now is Ayman Safadi; a Minister packing unrivalled expertise; from service at the Royal Court, through multiple previous political and media positions, the man does not come for a political family, and has no heritage or ancestral history in state. His father is a soldier whose service led him up the public staircase all the way to the top, as Counsel to the King, and remained among His Majesty’s close advisors even after leaving his post in recent years.

I personally know Safadi well; I can easily and confidently say that he was a stubborn defender of the higher interests of the Jordanian State, throughout the variety of international forums and congregations.

More so, as heavy as his new tasks seem, he who gets to serve His Majesty King Abdullah II as Minister of Foreign Affairs, would be lucky; he would to only open doors to receive a fitting, warm welcoming wherever he goes, for the King has corner-stoned an outstanding diplomatic presence for Jordan, times its size and capacities, and all the minister has to do is invest in this presence to advance Jordan’s interests.

That said, Safadi is taking over a Ministry which has enjoyed a sophisticated, widely recognised and respected figure at its head, one whose efforts were invaluable to the construction of Jordan’s image. Joudeh also did not leave any unsolved problems for Safadi to handle.

On contraire, Joudeh’s 8 years in office resulted in vastly natural and positive relations with international and regional powers, alike, pillaring Jordan’s stand-out in ever important diplomatic mission.

Today, despite the storm slashing through the region, and the countries’ open and undercover wars and conflicts, Jordan was most certainly not in any way a part of these conflicts, nor an a factor in any of them. Joudeh would travel back and forth, from Washington to Moscow, Riyadh to Baghdad, and all over, without facing the slightest obstacles or political sensitivities.

In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we need to show self-appreciation, as Jordanians; this Ministry has had many globally respected people heading it, including Abdul Elah Khatib and Marwan Mouasher, and there is no doubt Joudeh is one of them. Further back, we need only recap the name “Marwan Qasim” to remind ourselves how ancient and refined this particular organisation is.

Some may not like this, but this not a time for self-pity and loathing.

Back to Safadi, whose arrival at the Foreign Affairs department comes come in a time of decisiveness and vitality; power soon to be collected by the unknown president-elect in Washington, imposing an imminent spill that is equally dangerous for our region and its primary cause; Palestine. Stinking Netanyahu has already begun his outburst, threatening to bury the peace process by the support of Donald Trump. Jerusalem is in the hairs; the moment Trump’s catastrophic promise is carried out and the US embassy is moved to the occupied city, it’s done. Likewise, Syria is on a date with major changes which will surely also reflect on Jordan.

Trump’s coming with an administration theory that is totally opposite to Barack Obama’s “leading from behind”. Trump has a supremacist “leading from the top” kind of approach, which basically entails issuing orders for allies to carry out, without dripping the blood of a single American soldier, which pretty much reminds us of the Imperialist era.

God help Jordanian Diplomacy and our Countries diplomats.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.