The Reason Joudeh’s Out

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 18 January / Jan 2017. 01:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The incoherence and discord between former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister Dr Hani Mulqi may be one of the factors behind the resignation of well experienced and recognised minister, after many years of diplomacy. Still, it is not the only reason, nor the most important one behind this particular reshuffle!

Similarly, Dr Abdullah Nsour, the former premier, and Joudeh did not get alone. The latter rarely got along with any of the closer lot to both premiers; Nsour and Mulqi. And despite all the attempts to get him out, he held grounds.

Last of these attempts to shrink Joudeh’s official capacities was the assignment of Bisher Khasawneh as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who is said having been appointed strictly for that particular purpose. Failingly, rumours say the Prime Minister wanted the Foreign Affairs office for himself, but the decision was annulled and a compensation was made to distribute the office’s authorities between the two ministers, Joudeh and Khasawneh. Of course, now, Joudeh is out and the unjustifiable position was decommissioned, so was the idea of the Prime Minister taking hold of the Foreign office as well!

Joudeh is out because decision circles are convinced he stayed in office far too long, and that there are no political and rational reasons to bring in someone else, given the new American administration; the Republicans. Adversely, Joudeh is a close proponent of the Democrats; especially John Kerry, the outgoing US minister of state. Hence, it is only reasonable that our own foreign minister changes too!

With the undergoing shift, a revaluation is in order for general Jordanian foreign relations approach. Needless to say, the scale of change, both regionally and internationally, is massive; the US administration is definitely leaning towards Russia, the Russo-Iranian axis rises, and the Turkish turn is already making wakes; Assad’s departure is deprioritised, and instead the focus is fighting terrorism.

Above all, there is the bet on reinforcing ties with Iraq, and our attempt to participate in the project to reconstruct Syria; and the key to that is Iran. Last but not least, there is the possibility that the US embassy might actually be relocated to Jerusalem, which definitely has local and diplomatic implications.

Hence, we are facing a multitude of fundamental transformations in the regional atmosphere, which require local surgeries in the foreign policy field, which in turn requires a new minister, and a new face, different from the one representing Jordan’s diplomatic synamic since 2011; throughout the Arab Spring that it.

So, that said, Why Ayman Safadi?

It is known that the Foreign Minister is not the one who lays the politics; he is part of the evaluation and decision making mechanism which is centred in the higher levels of the Council on Policies supervised and directed by the King. The personal opinions of the minister, political and Ideological, have no direct effect on diplomatic directives; the minister is not a party representative. He was selected for totally different reasons.

Safadi, although has no direct diplomatic expertise, has worked closely with the King over the recent years; as a counsellor, and in different political positions, allowing him to become most acquainted with the King’s preferences, and knows exactly what the King doesn’t want. Hence is his embedded ability and qualification to translate the King’s directives diplomatically.

On the other hand, so long as there is a rising tide of Rightist powers around the world, it is known that Safadi is a fierce and tough fighter, with a diction and command of rhetoric capable —if necessary— of standing up to fanaticism over the next phase, pending the completion of the selection of the US administration crew, and the initiation of the Jerusalem frontier, as well as in regards to Jordanian regional interests.

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