Jordanian Opposition MPs to Boycott IPU Conference
By Noura Wazani
Six Jordanian deputies have decided to boycott the 103rd conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which will begin in Amman Sunday, in protest of the participation of an Israeli delegation in the meeting's sessions, according to Jordanian parliamentarian sources.
"Due to the participation of the Israeli delegation, we have decided to boycott the conference," said Lower House member Khalil Haddadin, explaining that "Israel is still occupying the Palestinian territories and has not so far fulfilled its commitments to the accords it signed with the Palestinians."
Haddadin added that “through such a stand, we have a message to convey to the world: we refuse and condemn the Israeli occupation of Arab lands.”
However, other Jordanian opposition figures will be at the conference sessions, except those attended by the Israeli delegation, deputy Abdul-Majeed Aqtash said.
"Four opposition deputies have decided to attend the conference, but we will not attend the sessions where the Israelis will be," Aqtash said, adding, "such a parliamentarian gathering is an opportunity for us to prove false the Israeli claims."
Aqtash told Albawaba.com "we want deputies from around the world to know the truth about Israel. So far, this country has been able to convince the world that it wants peace with its neighbors. If Israel wanted peace, it would have by now implemented the agreements signed with the Palestinians."
Meanwhile, twenty Jordanian deputies won Friday a commitment from Speaker of the Lower House Abdul-Hadi Majali to bar Israeli deputies taking part in the conference from visiting the parliament.
Haddadin told AFP Friday "20 members of parliament from different political parties signed a memorandum calling on the speaker of the Lower House not to authorize the admission of Israeli deputies."
"Majali promised to honor our request," Haddadin said, adding that despite the signing of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty in 1994 "no Israeli member of parliament or official has set foot in the Jordanian parliament."
He said that as the parliament has been in recess since the beginning of March, many other deputies were not available to sign the memorandum. The House of Deputies has 80 members.
The number of deputies signing up to the memorandum was set to rise, he said.
Participating delegations in the seven-day conference will make a visit to the parliament building in Amman.
"We are proud to be holding this conference in Jordan, but we can not accept a visit to the parliament by deputies from Israel, which carries out racist practices against Arabs and continues to occupy their land," said Haddadin.
The conference is held twice annually, and is normally attended by both Arabs and Israelis.
According to the regulations, the IPU invites all member states and the host country cannot bar any member from attending the conference – Albawaba.com
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