Jordan\'s PM: Jordan will not Accept \'New Waves\' of Palestinian Refugees
Jordan's Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb on Wednesday reiterated that Jordan will not accept any "new waves" of Palestinian refugees, stressing again the Kingdom's position on the right of return and compensation for the 1.57 million Palestinian refugees registered in the Kingdom, reported the Jordan Times newspaper.
Abul Ragheb, who was speaking during a closed-door session with parliament members, also played down lawmakers' fears that Jordan was "marginalized" from the final status talks between the Palestinian National Authority and Israel, which tackle thorny issues like refugees, water, Jerusalem and borders of the would-be Palestinian state, said the paper.
"The prime minister stressed that Jordan was involved in these talks," Lower House Speaker Abdul Hadi Majali said following the session.
"Although there is a difference between being part of the talks and being [well] informed of such talks, the government has great influence and is able to safeguard Jordanian interests during these talks," Majali told reporters.
According to the paper, Wednesday's session was held at the request of the 80-member House, following reports of plans to settle millions of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon as part of the US proposals submitted to the Palestinians and Israel.
US President Bill Clinton has proposed to the Palestinians and Israelis a bundle of proposals which includes shared sovereignty over east Jerusalem, the refusal of the return of millions of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the rehabilitation of these refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and other countries, said the paper.
Clinton's proposals also included the establishment of an international fund that would finance the rehabilitation of these refugees.
Abul Ragheb told the lawmakers that Jordan had submitted a "memorandum" to the PNA, Israel, the US and European Union on the Kingdom's demands, deputy Mahmoud Kharabsheh told the paper.
"The memo stressed that Jordan will reject any solution that will not take into consideration its national rights, and the rights of the refugees," Kharabsheh said.
In the meantime, the Toronto Star newspaper reported that Canadian foreign minister John Manley revealed Wednesday that Canada has offered to resettle Palestinian refugees in this country as part of a proposed Middle East peace plan.
He said there has been no detailed discussion on the number of refugees this would involve, but Canada wouldn't be the only country offering help, something the government hopes could aid in any potential peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, the minister told the paper -- (Several Sources)
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