Jordan Denies Reports of Deal for Return of More Hamas Leaders
Jordan on Thursday dismissed as “groundless” press reports that it had struck a deal with the Hamas movement for the return of other key Islamist leaders following Ibrahim Ghoshe's return last week, reported the Jordan Times.
“Those reports are merely incorrect stories and imaginations,” Information Minister Saleh Qallab told the paper.
Qallab maintained that, throughout the Ghoshe standoff last month, Jordan did not “carry out negotiations with the movement's outside leadership.”
Nor did Jordan deal directly with politburo chief Khalid Mishaal, who was deported to Doha in 1999, along with Ghosheh, Sami Khater and Izzat Resheq following a government crackdown on Hamas activities in the kingdom, said Qallab.
A Jordanian Arabic language daily, Ad Dustour, reported Wednesday that two banished Hamas leaders were expected to return to Amman from exile in Qatar within a few days.
Sources told the paper that Hamas was due to start negotiating a deal with the Jordanian government by which Khater and Rishiq would be allowed to come home, with an understanding similar to that reached last week regarding Ghoshe.
Ghoshe was allowed entry into Jordan on June 30, after spending 15 nights in the transit lounge of Queen Alia International Airport.
The crisis erupted on June 14, when Ghoshe, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, flew unexpectedly to Amman in defiance of a 19-month-old government decision to outlaw Hamas activities in Jordan.
In private, Jordanian officials say that Ghosheh's colleagues, who also hold Jordanian citizenship, could follow suit only if they renounce their organizational affiliations with Hamas – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)