Saudi Arabia said Friday it will give Jordan $10 billion to help it deal with
Syrian refugees, a day after the Jordanian prime minister said his country will
not accept Palestinian refugees from Syria and shifted the blame to
Meanwhile, Jordan sent a delegation to an emergency meeting of
Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on Sunday, held to deal with the refugee
situation in the region caused by the Syrian conflict and the recent bout of
severe weather, as reported by the Jordanian newspaper Al-Rai.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said at the meeting that a political solution is
required that will maintain Syria’s territorial integrity, according to a report
Sunday by the Jordan News Agency.
Judeh claimed that Jordan is currently
hosting 300,000 Syrians, including 60,000 in refugee camps and 240,000 in
Jordanian cities and villages, and that it spent $600 million last year on the
He went on to predict that by June, 425,000 refugees will have
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that it is
donating $10b. in aid to Jordan in order to help the country with the refugee
Jordan’s Zaatari camp is currently housing at least 30,000
In an interview a few days ago in the London-based Arab daily
Al-Hayat, Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said Jordan refuses to accept
Palestinian refugees, and blamed Israel for preventing them from returning to
their homes in the Jewish state.
“Jordan is not the place to solve the
problems of Israel, and it has made a clear and explicit sovereign decision to
not allow the crossing to Jordan by our Palestinian brothers who hold Syrian
documents. Receiving those brothers is a red line because that would be a
prelude to another wave of displacement, which is what the Israeli government
wants,” Ensour said.
“Our Palestinian brothers in Syria have the right to
go back to their country of origin. They should stay in Syria until the
end of the crisis.”
Jordan is increasingly concerned about the refugee
situation, which it sees as destabilizing an already sensitive domestic
situation – as the Muslim Brotherhood pressures the government to make reforms
and hold fair elections. This is in addition to the worry that refugees will
worsen other such tensions, as Palestinians already comprise the majority of
Jordan’s citizenry and part of the Islamist opposition, yet are underrepresented
in the halls of power.
Reuters contributed to this report.