‘It is Jordan that protects the Saudi border’, Jordanian MP angers Gulf with comments

Published January 25th, 2017 - 09:03 GMT
Safdi made the comments during a private meeting on Saturday (screenshot)
Safdi made the comments during a private meeting on Saturday (screenshot)

A Jordanian MP has sparked outrage online after he suggested that it is Jordan which defends and safeguards the Gulf.

Ahmed al-Safdi, the head of the parliamentary Finance Committee made the comments in a video that was shared widely yesterday.

“Saudi Arabia, we are protecting its borders,” Safdi claimed during a private meeting, adding that if anything should happen to Jordan then the Gulf countries “would fall in a matter of days.”

The politician also suggested that he would rather “eat dirt than talk about” appealing for financial help from Jordan’s oil-rich neighbors.

Safdi was responding to the words of Chief Justice and Imam of the Hashemite Court, Sheikh Ahmad Hilayel, who appealed for the assistance of the Gulf countries in his nationally televised sermon last Friday.

“I am calling on our brothers in the Gulf to help us. I call upon them to use some of the riches bestowed upon them by Allah to save Jordan,” Hilayel said before later resigning.

Safdi’s controversial comments have sparked anger in the Gulf, where they have been interpreted as insulting. Saudis and Jordanians alike have been using the hashtag “Safdi insults Gulf countries” to condemn Safdi’s words.

The Jordanian MP #SafdiInsultsGulfcountries. With God’s permission your hope will be fulfilled and you will eat dirt. But calm down, we’ll bring you a banana, you monkey.

Editor-in-chief of Jeddah-based Okaz newspaper, Muhammed Al-Ghamedi:

He represents only himself and does not represent our honorable brothers in Jordan.

Kuwaiti mental health consultant, Dr. Dalal Alrdaan:

I hope that no-one insults the people of Jordan, this (fake Jordanian) does not represent the brave Jordanians. In fact Jordanians themselves are divided over such people.

This person does not represent us as Jordanians, as there is a relationship of ancestry, culture and religion between us and Saudi Arabia which is much greater than what their representatives speak of.

I demand this person be brought before the Court of State Security on the charge of insulting and spreading hatred in our relationship with our Saudi Arab brothers.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia usually enjoy warm relations. A 2013 Pew global opinion poll revealed that 88 percent of Jordanians express a favourable view of Saudi Arabia, the most positive public opinion in the region.

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