Jordan expels Syrian ambassador for ‘insults’

Amman declares Bahjat Suleiman persona non-grata for “crossing the line” with media statements, and asks him to leave.

Bahjat Suleiman was asked to leave Jordan within 24 hours [AP]

Amman, Jordan – Jordan has given the Syrian ambassador to Amman, Bahjat Suleiman, 24 hours to leave the country for insulting the kingdom.

Sabbah Rafei, a spokeswoman for the Jordanian foreign ministry, told Al Jazeera on Monday that Jordan has expelled the ambassador for having “crossed the lines in diplomatic rules”.

“The ministry of foreign affairs sent a memorandum to the Syrian embassy stating that Bahjat Suleiman is an undesired person in Jordan,” Rafei said in a statement published by state news agency, Petra.

The decision came after Suleiman had “repeatedly insulted Jordan via interviews with media outlets and social media sites”, the statement added. 

Petra quoted Rafei as saying that Suleiman had “attacked Jordan, and [the] Jordanian people, and its leaders and political figures”.

The statement also alleged that the ambassador used his assignment in Jordan to insult other Arab countries, an indirect reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The AFP news agency reported Syrian state TV as saying that Syria would expel Jordan’s charge d’affaires. 

A week ago, Suleiman invited Syrians in Jordan to vote in the upcoming Syrian presidential elections from Amman.

Nasser Judeh, the Jordanian foreign minister, said in May that Jordan was still considering whether it would allow Syrians to vote at their embassy. The Syrian elections are scheduled for June 3.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies