No intention to build military alliance that includes Israel — Safadi

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi delivers a message from His Majesty King Abdullah to Emir of Qatar Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on June 28 in Doha. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi denied Tuesday the existence of “any talks of a military alliance of which Israel would be a part”, and said that this issue is not on the agenda of US President Joe Biden’s visit to the region.اضافة اعلان

In an interview with Al Jazeera TV in Doha, Safadi stressed that there is no talk of an Arab alliance of which Israel is a part, “and there is no such proposal”.

He said that what was raised in this context was a question that a journalist directed to King Abdullah about whether he supports the establishment of an Arab defense alliance, and it is natural that Jordan supports “every joint Arab institutional action, whether it is related to defense and security or the economy.”

Last week, June 24, CNBC American television network quoted His Majesty as saying that he would support the formation of a Middle East military alliance similar to NATO, and that it can be done with countries that are like-minded. But the King also stressed that “the vision of such a military alliance must be very clear, and its role should be well defined. Otherwise, it confuses everybody.”

Safadi’s statements refuted what was reported by Western and Israeli media about the intention of Tel Aviv and Arab capitals to build a military alliance to confront Iran, with the help of the US. On June 20, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that an air defense pact between Israel and its regional allies, which was “already in action”, had already served to thwart Iran, and that he hoped it would expand with US President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia next month. Gantz added that “part of that vision is what I call MEAD, Middle East Air Defense, which we are building amid Iran’s attempts to hit the region’s countries with rockets, cruise missiles, and UAVs.”

In a related matter, the Jordanian minister explained that Arab countries are conducting joint coordination prior to Biden’s visit to the region, and added that his visit to Doha comes in this context, as he conveyed a message from King Abdullah to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Safadi underlined the centrality of the Palestinian issue and the importance of the Syrian crisis and Gulf security. He added that “we all demand mechanisms that guarantee our security through dialogue and problem solving, in addition to energy and food security. ... There are challenges that require us all to work, and we will talk with the US on all these matters.”

He said that all Arab countries want good relations with Iran, “and until we reach this stage, a dialogue must address all causes of tension.”

Safadi travelled to Madrid on Wednesday to attend the meeting of NATO foreign ministers, which is being held on the sidelines of the alliance’ summit in the Spanish capital, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry.

In 1994, NATO launched the Mediterranean Dialogue Initiative, which includes in its membership, in addition to the members of the alliance, six Arab countries, including Jordan, which joined in November 1995.

The initiative aims to contribute to achieving security and stability in the Mediterranean region and to enhance common understanding between the alliance and the countries participating in the initiative.

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