Jordan's King Calls for Int’l Efforts to End Israeli Attacks on Palestinians
Jordan's King Abdullah on Monday called for international efforts to put an end to Israeli attacks on Palestinians, after the assassination of the chief of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Abu Ali Mustafa.
"This painful loss underscores the need for international efforts for an immediate stop to the violence and the repeated attacks on the Palestinian people," the monarch said from Moscow, according to Jordan's official Petra news agency.
Petra said the remarks were contained in a message of condolences addressed by the monarch to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
The Jordanian king arrived in Moscow, his first official visit to Russia, coming from Sofia, where he held talks with senior Bulgarian officials on bilateral issues as well as the Palestinian crisis.
The monarch is due to hold talks Tuesday with President Vladimir Putin on the Palestinian crisis, as well as enhancing bilateral ties, especially in the field of military affairs, said reports.
Officials said the king would seek to purchase Russian arms and explore possibilities for the technical training of Jordanian servicemen.
Jordan's army is partially equipped with Russian armaments bought by the late king Hussein in the early 1980s. Its Russian-supplied arsenal includes air defense systems, tanks, vehicles and machineguns.
According to the paper, the king is trying to modernize the armed forces, which have suffered under 12 years of reduced state spending to ease the burden of Jordan's nearly $7 billion in foreign debt.
The United States vowed four years ago to develop Jordanian defense capabilities to reward it for its 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
Since then, US military aid has grown by 50 per cent to $75 million annually. Additionally, Washington has dispatched 16 F-16 jet fighters and other military equipment to Jordan, worth $300 million.
In 1998, Amman was accorded the status of a non-NATO ally of the United States, becoming eligible to receive used military hardware on a more regular basis – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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