Canada Offers Mine-Clearing Equipment to Jordan
Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley, currently on a several-day visit to the Jordan, is due to deliver mine-clearing equipment to Jordan's Royal Engineering Force, reported the Petra official news agency.
Manley, who will take part in the ministerial meeting of the Human Safety Network, paid tribute to the Royal Engineering Forces' relentless and continuous efforts in the de-mining operations in the Jordan Valley district, according to a press release issued by Canada's Embassy in Amman.
At the end of a visit to Amman last year, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien pledged a $500,000 donation to help remove landmines in Jordan.
But the statement said that the Canadian government has so far offered 1 million Canadian dollars to de-mining campaigns countrywide.
By signing the Ottawa Treaty in 1998, Jordan became the third nation in the Middle East to ban landmines, after Yemen and Qatar, according to Landmine Survivors Rehabilitation Database.
Jordan does not manufacture or export anti-personnel landmines, but it does have an undisclosed quantity of stockpiled mines, which must be destroyed by March 2003 according to the terms of the Treaty.
The lowest estimated number of landmines in the country is 206,193, whereas the highest estimate puts the number at 303,431.
The minefields laid by Jordanian Armed Forces are in the Jordan River Valley and concentrated in the northwest of Jordan. The minefields laid by Israel are concentrated in the southwest of Jordan in the Araba Valley. There is also a mined area along the borders with Syria and Iraq.
It is estimated that 10 percent of Jordan's 6.3 million people live in areas affected by landmines, said the group – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)