Crisis between Jordan, Qatar escalates
The political crisis between Jordan and Qatar escalated Thursday after Al-Jazeera satellite TV channel broadcast a critical program of the royal family.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Marwan Moasher summoned Qatari ambassador Abdel Rahman bin Jassem to express the kingdom's "anger", an official source said. Moasher told the Qatari diplomat to inform his government that Amman was "deeply offended" by the "attacks against the king, government and the Jordanian people" aired by the program, the source said, according to AFP.
"Qatar, owner and 'godfather' of Al-Jazeeera, is responsible for this attack against the dignity of the royal family and Jordan," one senior official told the news agency.
Another official said Qatar was "defaming Arab countries through Al-Jazeera to cover up for its links with Israel and its military agreements with the United States. "This television channel is a lion with the Arabs and a lamb with Qatar," the official said.
Accusing the Qatar-based TV of "cheap tactics", Moasher said the issue "is not one of freedom of speech but of voluntary falsification of the noble history of Jordan and its Hashemite leadership," the source added. Additionally, the Jordanian Senate released a statement Thursday accusing Al-Jazeera of having a "destructive role" and of seeking to "sow the seeds of sedition among the Arabs".
A senior Jordanian official earlier told AFP that Al-Jazeera had lit the fuse of a "political crisis" between Amman and Doha.
The crisis erupted Tuesday when participants on a popular show took to task King Abdullah II and his late father, King Hussein, who signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. They slammed Jordan's policies towards the Palestinian people and Iraq using such terms as "liars" and "agents" of the Mossad and CIA, Israeli and US secret services, in reference to Abdullah and Hussein. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)