Jordan seeks deeper ties with Turkey: PM

AMMAN, Jordan-In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency before holding talks with Turkish officials in Ankara on Tuesday, Jordanian Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki said the agenda of talks would be topped by bilateral relations, regional developments and the fight against terrorism.

"We [al-Mulki and his delegation] will meet with Turkish officials with a view to improving relations on economic issues, investment, eradicating terrorism and regional security," he said.

Emphasizing that Jordan enjoyed good relations with numerous countries, he added: "We want to use our current relations and position to find fair solutions to a host of issues, especially the Palestinian issue."

Al-Mulki went on to note that Jordan favored a "two-state solution" to the perennial Israel-Palestine dispute.

"An independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders -- with East Jerusalem as its capital -- is the international community's preferred solution," he said.

"Such a settlement is also compatible with international resolutions adopted on the issue," he added.

He went on to note that UN agencies had issued a number of resolutions in this regard, including a resolution adopted by UNESCO last October asserting that Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque complex had "no connection with Judaism".

When asked about a scheduled Arab League Summit to be held in Jordan at the end of this month, al-Mulki said the event would tackle regional developments and "issues of common concern".

"Main topics on the agenda will include the Palestinian issue, the struggle against terrorism and extremism, threats to Arab national security and ongoing conflicts in the Arab world," he explained, going on to note that Syria's Assad regime had not been invited to attend.

Stressing that Jordan had adopted a clear stance on the Syria crisis from the outset, al-Mulki said the Hashemite kingdom had consistently called for a political solution to the conflict, which is about to enter its seventh year.

He added: "A peaceful solution to the crisis will be in the best interests of Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon."

Al-Mulki also denied reports that Jordanian officials had recently met with their Syrian regime counterparts.

"If we had any kind of communication with the Syrian regime," he said, "we would say so publicly."

The prime minister went on to lament that recent developments in the region had had a negative impact on Jordan's economy.

According to al-Mulki, Jordan has taken in more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees since the conflict began in early 2011, dramatically increasing the economic burden on the country.

*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this report from Ankara

Source: Anadolu Agency