Jordan denies comments on Saudi anti-terror coalition

News reports alleging King Abdullah II belittled the 34-nation anti-terrorism alliance are "distorted", statement says.

    King Abdullah II's government denied reported comments about the Saudi-led anti-terror coalition [Faisal Nasser/Reuters]
    King Abdullah II's government denied reported comments about the Saudi-led anti-terror coalition [Faisal Nasser/Reuters]

    Jordan has denounced "distorted" reporting that claimed the king had belittled the 34-nation military alliance tasked with battling armed groups in the Middle East that was created by Saudi Arabia late last year. 

     Jordan foils 'major ISIL operation'

    "Jordan is fully supportive of the Saudi-led Islamic coalition in its fight against terrorism," said a statement in Arabic released by the state news agency Petra.

    "Jordan was one of the first supporters and participants in this coalition, and we have been calling for such an initiative for a long time." 

    Earlier this week, one report said King Abdullah told US politicians in January in Washington DC to be "realistic" about what the Saudi-led coalition can achieve.

    It added the only reason his country and other nations signed up was because of the alliance's "non-binding" nature. 

    But the government's statement called the reporting into question.

    "Jordan is proud of its solid historic ties to the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Jordan always stands by Saudi Arabia under all circumstances. We must fight terrorism by reinforcing Arab-Islamic joint efforts," it said.

    Al Jazeera contacted a spokesman from Jordan's government for comment, as well as the communications director for the royal palace, but phones rang unanswered. Friday is a public holiday in Jordan.

    WATCH: The threat of ISIL in Saudi Arabia

    Last December, Saudi Arabia announced the formation of the anti-terror alliance involving more than 30 Muslim-majority countries, including Middle Eastern powers Egypt and Turkey.

    Most of the countries are currently involved in military operations against ISIL, also known as ISIS, or have been targeted by the group.

    The states will work together to target "any terrorist organisation, not just ISIL" in countries including Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia said.

    Asked if the alliance would deploy troops on the ground, Saudi's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in December that  "nothing is off the table".

     Saudi Arabia announces new Muslim 'anti-terrorism' coalition

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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