Photo: AP
King Abdullah. 'Secure future'
Photo: AP
Naveh. 'Abdullah last king'
Photo: Danny Salomon

Jordan: Officer should be disciplined

Central Command Chief Yair Naveh's statement Abdullah may be Jordan's last monarch triggers outrage in neighboring kingdom; acting ambassador to Israel warns relations could be dented

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz ordered an investigation into reports that Central Command chief, Major-General Yair Naveh, said in private conversations that Jordan’s King Abdullah will be the last monarch of the Hashemite Kingdom.


Chief of General Staff Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz and Mofaz said Naveh’s comments are his personal opinion and do not reflect Israel’s official position.


A message released by the Ministry of Defense on Wednesday said that “Israel sees in Jordan a stable and strong country with a splendid tradition and a secure future.”


Naveh made his comments on Wednesday during a closed-doors meeting with diplomats and foreign journalists at the Jerusalem Center for Society and Policy.


'Relations could be dented'


Naveh reportedly said that “80 percent of Jordan’s population is Palestinian. King Abdullah II is likely to be the last king to rule over the Hashemite kingdom.”


“Hamas’s strengthening and the axis between Iran and Hamas is blowing among the Jordanian populace. Go forbid, but we might have a situation where King Abdullah is last,” he reportedly said.


Omar a-Nasif, Jordan’s acting ambassador to Israel, rebuke Naveh's remarks and called on Israel to discipline the major-general.


Speaking to the Jordanian news agency a-Nasif said he expects Israel to “take the necessary steps against the officer who made these remarks which point to a lack of discipline and understanding.” He added that should Israel fail to discipline Naveh relations between the two neighbors could be dented.


Foreign ministers talk


Irked Jordanian officials contacted the Foreign Ministry to submit an official complaint about Naveh’s remarks.


Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told her Jordanian counterpart Abed al-Khatib that Israel sees in Jordan a strategic partner and will continue to improve relations between the two countries.


“Everything else contradicts the Israeli government’s policy,” she said.


Sources who were present at the meeting said that Naveh made the remark while speaking about the future threats facing Israel from the east. They added that Naveh also spoke of the threat from Iran and the instability in Iraq.


Military sources said Naveh did not intend to insult the Jordanian authorities and the King Abdullah but to present an evaluation of the situation in the region.


In any event, Naveh intends on sending an official apology to his counterparts in the Jordanian army over the remarks, which he claims were misunderstood.


Channel 10 reported comments by Deputy Chief of Staff Moshe Kaplinsky: “Today we can say the whole region is extremely dynamic and uncertainty is obvious. The changes that happened here with Hamas and the uncertainty in Syria are clear. But even in Egypt we can see early signs of weakening in (President Hosni) Mubarak’s solid regime.”


פרסום ראשון: 02.22.06, 20:12
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