US Rebukes Jordan For Hosting Conference of Radicals
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The State Department said Tuesday it expects Jordan will end its continuing purchases of Iraqi oil and also blasted that country for hosting a conference that featured the Arab world’s most radical anti-American elements.
According to official estimates, Jordan formerly imported 90 per cent of its oil requirements from Iraq but has reduced that figure to 40 per cent since the United Nations economic embargo against Iraq went into effect six weeks ago.
State Department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler said the administration understands Jordan’s unique dependence on Iraq. The administration is hopeful, she added, that with the help of assistance from donor countries, Jordan soon will be in full compliance with the U.S. goal of a ″total trade embargo″ against Iraq.
Ms. Tutwiler was far more critical of Jordan’s decision to host a three-day conference of Arab radicals and guerrillas. The delegates warned that their objective is ″to strike against the American interests everywhere and by all means at the same moment an American military attack is launched against Iraq.″
Ms. Tutwiler said the United States was ″surprised and dismayed that this conference took place and we have told the Jordanians so. We want to work with Jordan during and after this crisis in the (Persian) Gulf. Hosting this conference is very hard for us to understand.″
King Hussein did not attend the conference but his reluctance to take a strong stand against the Iraqi takeover of Kuwait has strained what had been a close relationship with Washington dating back many years.
The 3,000 delegates attending the meeting also called for the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and said they will initiate guerrilla actions against the United States and other countries that have sent troops to Saudi Arabia.
The sentiments expressed at the meeting, Ms. Tutwiler said, ″were not surprising, given the guest list,″ which included representatives of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
″We are appalled by the statements that were made at that conference. Such language is not only inflammatory but it can have the result of inciting the kind of violence which it threatens,″ Ms. Tutwiler said.
The rhetoric, she added, ignores the overriding threat to the region, which is ″Iraq’s unbridled ambition, evidenced by its invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait.″