By Ashraf Mohammad
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah Khatib has said there is no contradiction between the Palestinian refugees’ holding the Jordanian nationality and their right of return or compensation as stipulated by the related international resolutions.
In a lecture he delivered at Hittin Camp for Palestinian refugees, the minister said that “Jordan’s position as to the issue of the refugees is transparent and is based on the international resolutions concerned.”
He said that the 41 percent of the Palestinian refugees who live in Jordan hold the nationality due to the unification of the West and the East banks in 1952.
Khatib added that Jordan has shouldered a huge burden hosting the refugees and it’s the kingdom’s right to claim compensation.
“Jordan spends five times as much on the camps as UNRWA does. That is equal to all the UN organization’s expenditure on the refugees worldwide,” he stated.
The minister rejected any link between the social security package that Jordan envisaged last year to improve the living conditions of the population of “random areas” and settlement plans, stressing that there was no hidden agenda behind the scheme.
Touching the Palestinian-Israeli summit at Camp David last month, Khatib said issues such as Jerusalem, land and the status of the refugees are so sensitive, adding that independence for the Palestinians is absolutely in the interest of Jordan.
“Despite the failure of the summit, it was able to bridge gaps between the negotiating teams,” he commented. However, none of the issues were settled, he said.
The foreign minister reiterated that when Jordan signed the Wadi Araba peace treaty with Israel, it sought to secure the Palestinians the maximum of their rights. He said the treaty provided for the rights of the refugees and the displaced in accordance with the international legitimacy resolution, particularly UN Security Council Resolution 194.
As to Jordan’s position on Jerusalem, Khatib said that Jordan has so far shouldered its responsibilities regarding the holy city and considers east Jerusalem as an occupied land. He stressed that Resolution 242 applies to the issue.
Khatib’s lecture at Hittin is the second one in a Palestinian camp in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. Last month he addressed residents of the Baqaa Camp, to the north of Amman, on the same topics -- Albawaba.com
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