Jordan premier summons US ambassador to condemn killings in Iraq
The Jerusalem Post

April 3, 2003

In a further bid to assuage popular anger over the war, Jordan's prime minister summoned the US ambassador Thursday and denounced the killing of civilians in the US-led invasion of Iraq, the official Petra news agency reported.

Prime Minister Ali Abul-Ragheb also demanded an end to the allied military operation in Iraq, the agency said.

A US Embassy spokeswoman confirmed that Ambassador Edward Ghnehm met the prime minister, adding the embassy would issue a statement later.

The meeting came a day after Jordan's King Abdullah II said he "strongly condemned" the deaths of innocent people in the war in Iraq.

Former civil servants, political activists and professionals had criticized the government for failing to speak out against the US-British operation in Iraq.

In an unusual statement, Abdullah said Wednesday he felt "pained and saddened when we watch on television the increasing number of martyrs among innocent Iraqi civilians, and I, as a father, feel the pain of every Iraqi family, every child and father."

"Nobody can outbid my concern for my people and my (Arab) nation," the king added.

Petra reported the prime minister as telling the ambassador of "the anger of Jordan's leadership, government and people for the increasing number of casualties among Iraqi civilians."

"Jordan holds the United States, Britain and any other country taking part in the war in Iraq responsible for protecting innocent civilians in line with the Geneva Convention," Abul-Ragheb told Ghnehm, according to Petra.

Abul-Ragheb demanded the United States and Britain "end the war and put a limit to the suffering of the Iraqi people," Petra said.

The prime minister also called on the allies to "intensify their efforts to facilitate relief operations and delivery of humanitarian aid in Iraq," saying current efforts were insufficient, the agency reported.