Livni: There is no crisis in Israel's relations with Jordan
Jordan expects GOC Naveh to face disciplinary action for saying Abdullah might be last Hashemite king.
There is no strategic crisis between Israel and Jordan," Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Monday after statements made last week by GOC Central Command Yair Naveh that King Abdullah might be the last in the Hashemite dynasty.
Making her first appearance before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Livni said following her talks with Jordanian government officials, "The Jordanians expect Naveh to face disciplinary charges for his statement."
Livni denied Monday's Yedioth Ahronoth report that relations between the two countries have been severed almost completely. "Major General Naveh's statement created a sensitivity in the relations, but cooperation between the two countries is continuing," she said.
The acting Jordanian ambassador to Israel, Omar Al-Nadif, also denied the report of a crisis in Jordanian-Israeli relations. In an official statement Monday, Nadif said that relations between the two countries are "on the right track," after Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert telephoned King Abdullah and explained that Naveh's statements do not reflect the Israeli government's position regarding Jordan.
Noting that similar positions were expressed by Livni, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, who ordered an investigation into the matter, Nadif said that "the government of Israel treated matters with an appropriate seriousness."
Nadif added: "Jordan attributes great importance to the peace process in the region, hopes it will be renewed after the elections in Israel, and is investing every effort for that cause. The relations between the countries are important and positively impact stability and peace in the region."
Livni also said that the worse the situation in the Palestinian Authority became, the international community would be more flexible toward the militant Hamas organization. Therefore, Livni added, Israel is considering working with humanitarian organizations assisting the Palestinian population.
Livni, who also gave a review of her recent trip to Austria, France and Britain, said that Europe's policy is still in the process of being shaped and that if Israel wants to influence Europe's policy it must act now. She added that she had emphasized to her European hosts that Israel objects to the international community transfer of funds to the Hamas-led government.
Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac said on Monday he was "hostile" to any international sanctions against the PA under the leadership of Hamas.
"I know well that there are some who envisage sanctions. For my part, I am hostile to sanctions in general and in this case in particular... basically the Palestinian people would bear the brunt of it," he told a news conference in Saudi Arabia.
An EU official reiterated on Monday that the EU would stop payments to the PA once Hamas takes power unless those conditions were met.
Chirac did not explain how France would stop funding the PA but maintain aid to Palestinians.
"I hope the discussions with Hamas that some parties have begun can lead to this positive result. To be honest, I don't doubt it will, since Hamas has to assume its responsibilities," Chirac said, referring to the EU and U.S. demands.
A Hamas delegation last week visited Russia, the group's first trip to a major foreign power, in the hope of gaining some international standing.