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Jordan Legislators Stage Protest

March 15, 1998

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ Sixteen opposition legislators on Sunday walked out of a parliamentary debate in protest against a visit by pro-government members to Israel.

The legislators told reporters they withdrew after House Speaker Saad Srour refused to allow Nashaat Hamarneh, a leading leftist member, to criticize last Tuesday’s visit.

Srour and six legislators accompanied Jordan’s Crown Prince Hassan when he went to Tel Aviv, where he held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and improving bilateral relations.

The opposition members of parliament, who belong to Muslim fundamentalist and leftist parties, are staunchly opposed to Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel and exchanges that signify normal relations with the Jewish state.

The legislators say they regard the 1994 agreement as a treaty between governments, rather than peoples. As such, the Crown Prince, who is the heir to King Hussein, is free to visit Israel, but not the elected representatives of the people.

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