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Home >> World
UPDATED: 16:12, April 22, 2007
Jordan denies Israeli reports on king's remarks
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The Jordanian Royal Court denied remarks on the Palestinian issue attributed Friday to Jordan's King Abdullah II by the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, the Jordan Times reported on Sunday.

"What some Israeli newspapers quoted the king to have said during his meeting on Thursday with the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Dalia Itzik, is completely baseless and false," Amjad Adayleh, head of the Media Department at the royal court, was quoted as saying in an official statement.

Ha'aretz, quoting Israeli lawmakers who attended the meeting, said King Abdullah had told Itzik that "Instead of talking about the Palestinian right of return (in an Arab peace initiative), it might be necessary to talk about the right to compensation."

The compensation could be paid by rich Arab countries, the Israeli paper further quoted Abdullah as saying.

The Jordanian statement described "the report was exaggerated and clearly offended Jordan and its leadership and distorted sincere efforts led by the Kingdom in defense of Palestinian rights, mainly the establishment of an independent state."

Abdullah told Itzik during their meeting that the Arab peace initiative "underlines the importance of reaching a reconciliatory solution for the issue of Palestinian refugees by the two sides and rules out forging real peace without resolving the refugee issues in accordance with the international legitimacy solutions," the Jordanian statement added.

"Option of compensation comes in the context of resolving the refugee problem, but cannot provide a solution by itself," it added.

The statement said the kingdom hosts the largest number of Palestinian refugees, most of whom are Jordanian citizens, "that do not in any way deprive them from their rights as refugees."

"Jordan also has the right to defend the rights of its citizens who fled from Palestine, including the right of return and compensation in line with international resolutions," it continued.

In addition, Abdullah was also quoted by the Israeli newspaper as saying that Jordan and Israel were "fighting the same enemy." The king's remarks came in the context of warnings against growing extremism in the region, according to the Jordanian official statement.

"The failure to find a solution for the Palestinian issue will boost extremism and force all parties to pay the price, including Israel," it added.

Source: Xinhua

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