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Jordan welcomes Trump’s Syria ‘safe haven’ statement

By Khetam Malkawi - Jan 29,2017 - Last updated at Jan 29,2017

AMMAN — Jordan welcomes any process that may contribute to finding a solution to the Syrian crisis, a senior official said on Sunday.

The remarks came in response to The Jordan Times’ question on whether Jordan supports the establishment of “safe areas” inside Syria and neighbouring countries, as proposed by US President Donald Trump.

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani said the Kingdom supports any coordination to bring peace to the Syrian people and encourage their return.

However, the minister did not elaborate further on the procedures and whether they would positively affect Jordan, which hosts some 1.3 million Syrian refugees.

Trump on Wednesday told ABC news that he "will absolutely do safe zones in Syria" for refugees fleeing violence, and that Europe had made a mistake by admitting millions of refugees from Syria, Reuters reported.

Russia said it had not been consulted on Trump's plan, warning that the US should not "exacerbate the situation with refugees" and Washington should weigh up "all the consequences", the news agency added.

According to retired major general and military analyst Fayez Dweiri, if these zones were established for humanitarian reasons, they would provide a viable solution. 

However, if they are meant for political purposes such as dividing Syria in the future, this would complicate the crisis, Dweiri said. 

As the establishment of such zones has several requirements, including the ability to provide air and ground protection to civilians in these zones, he questioned the US’ preparedness to be dragged deeper into a war in Syria.

 

The expert, a retired major general who served in the Jordanian military, added that the idea is still vague, as the US president has not spoken about whether these zones will be temporary or permanent zones, and he has not spoken about the approval of neighbouring countries also hosting Syrian refugees.

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