Cheney meets opposition in Jordan to move against Iraq

Mar 12, 2002 01:00 AM

Vice President Dick Cheney began the most difficult phase of his 12-day mission to elicit allied support for a possible military campaign against Iraq, and he immediately encountered open opposition from King Abdullah II of Jordan.
After Mr. Cheney and King Abdullah met, Jordanian authorities said that the monarch had expressed concern about "the repercussions of any possible strike on Iraq and the dangers of that on the stability and security of the region." Instead of backing tough action against Baghdad, King Abdullah urged that the Bush administration's disputes with Iraq be resolved "through dialogue and peaceful means."

The strong comments from the king's officials, and his decision to make them public, reflect concern that an American offensive against Iraq would open another front in a region already racked by instability because of the violence between Israel and the Palestinians. Its large Palestinian population and extensive trade with Iraq have long fed a Jordanian reluctance to support Washington's stance toward Baghdad.
Along with Jordanian comments on the Middle East turmoil, these remarks show that from the Arab perspective, the issues of Iraq and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are inextricably linked. The Bush administration's push for strong action against Iraq is running up against Arab perceptions that the United States has not done enough to restrain Israel.

Source: Today's News
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