The King, clearly

تم نشره في Wed 15 April / Apr 2015. 12:00 AM

By Fahed Khitan

Clearly and unequivocally, King Abdullah II, in his interview with the US "Fox News", stated Jordan’s position of the various current Arab issues. In short, there is no longer gray positions that require analysts’ diligence to clarify whether regarding the war on terror or the war in Yemen.

We can say that the position of King on the war on the terrorist Islamic State was clear and evident before. But what is new is the King’s feeling that the Arab coalition against terrorism is at fault. It is an unfortunate result without doubt; Jordan is, what His Majesty said, the only Arab country that is fighting the war on terrorism today. Despite this decline at the Arab momentum, the King is still pursuing his first priority as the war on IS over issues such as Iraq or Syria.

The partnership with the United States in various fields, notably the war on terror, is still strong and persistent. But it is no longer aligned like it was in the past. It has matured to allow Jordan to initiate independently and cooperate as equals, in a framework of transparency and clarity that was not available before.

Followers recorded that there is fundamentally difference in the tone of dialogue and communication between the Jordanian and American sides, resulting from the realization of Jordan's stature and importance in the region, after a series of dramatic changes that swept the countries and regimes.

Jordan felt recently that the developments in Yemen were at the spotlight, and changed priorities of the key parties in the coalition against terrorism. Some Gulf countries who sent planes to Jordan to support the military effort withdrew them after launching Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen. The King pointed that out explicitly in the interview.

But the key sentence in the King’s interview about Yemen, was that the solution to the crisis in Yemen is political. This statement has dispelled the mystery that surrounded the position of Jordan over the past weeks.

There was a feeling that Jordan is not inclined to military escalation in Yemen, and prefers continued diplomatic effort. However, for known reasons, Jordanian officials did not say that publically. But in Jordan, if you want to know the real position of any issue related to foreign policy, you have to wait for an interview with the King. In many cases, not making a public statement about a particular issue is a statement of the position.

This is what happened in connection with Yemen, until the last King interview with the US TV, to send a very clear message this time; a political solution in Yemen.

Today, three weeks after the start of military operation in Yemen, the need to adopt a political approach based on the principle of dialogue to avoid getting caught in the quagmire of civil war became clear, not to mention religiously tense situation in a region that does not need more sectarian fires.

The question today: Can Jordan manage its differences with Arab allies without losing their support?



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition