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Jordanian FM denies ‘Arab-Israeli NATO,’ says Arab countries seek close ties with Iran

Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi (Photo via Twitter)

Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi says Arab countries look for promotion of diplomatic relations with Iran, roundly dismissing the existence of any talks on the formation of an anti-Iran Middle Eastern military alliance similar to NATO, which would include Israel.

Speaking in an interview with the Qatar-based and Arabic-language al-Jazeera television news network on Tuesday evening, Safadi underscored that the issue is not on the agenda of US President Joe Biden’s Middle East trip next month during which he will visit the Israeli-occupied territories and the West Bank, followed by a trip to Saudi Arabia.

He went on to highlight that there is no talk of an Arab alliance with Israeli participation, emphasizing that “there is no such proposal.”

The top Jordanian diplomat also rejected Western and Israeli media reports that Arab states and the Tel Aviv regime were planning to form a military alliance, with the help of the United States, to confront Iran.

“All Arab countries want good relations with Iran, and as we move to reach that stage dialogue must address all sources of tension,” Safadi noted.

The Jordanian foreign minister also pointed to the Palestinian issue, the ongoing Syrian crisis and the security of the Persian Gulf littoral countries.

“We all want mechanisms that would ensure our security through dialogue, and would also address our energy and food security woes... There are challenges that require us all to work together. We will talk to the United States about these issues,” he said.

The remarks came after Jordan’s King Abdullah II told CNBC television news network last week that he supports the formation of a NATO-style military alliance in the Middle East region.

“The kingdom works actively with NATO and sees itself as a partner of the alliance, having fought shoulder-to-shoulder with NATO troops for decades,” he said.

The Jordanian monarch expressed his desire to see “more countries in the area come into that mix.”

“I would be one of the first people that would endorse a Middle East NATO,” he added.

King Abdullah said the vision and mission statement for such a military alliance must “be very clear, and its role should be well defined. Otherwise, it confuses everybody.”

He went on to call on Arab countries to help each other, stressing that "insecurities and instability in the region will affect regional projects.”

“The goal needs to be a win-win solution,” the monarch said.

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