The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Anti-Assad daily reports that Saudi Prince MBS has dropped condition Bashar goes now, “possible settlement” being explored for “first time”

Translated in part today in our Daily Briefing (for a free trial, email

On August 5, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its Amman office Chief Bassam Bdareen: “The meeting between Jordanian Monarch King Abdullah II with the number three man in Saudi Arabia Prince Muhammad bin Salman was described as “very important,” not only because it followed the recent Saudi-Russian consultations or because Prince Muhammad bin Salman was accused by the Jordanian elite of adopting a negative stand towards the Hashemite Kingdom, but also because the warm reception he was given in Amman reflected deep goals behind the visit, which was conducted by the prince after a long period of “misunderstanding” between the two countries. Clearly, Amman made sure to organize the “most official reception possible” for its Saudi guest, and he was welcomed by senior officials and the brother of the king, Prince Faisal ibn al-Hussein, before holding a direct meeting with Monarch Abdullah II.

“Unlike what was expected, no joint statement came out from the meeting, but according to close sources, Prince Salman had just exited a direct confrontation with Russia, under the headline of negotiating a “possible settlement” for the Syrian file, which presumably put forward – for the first time – the relinquishing of the toppling of Bashar al-Assad. This new situation completely suits Jordan, which has been talking about a peaceful political settlement of the situation in Syria for four years, as confirmed to Al-Quds al-Arabi by its official Spokesman Dr. Muhammad al-Mumani. The visit of the young Saudi prince has another deeper meaning, i.e. that the last stronghold of “bickering” with Jordan has become more pliant and flexible towards Amman, at a time when the warm reception of Prince Muhammad bin Salman means that Amman has settled all the public and private disputes with the new Saudi authority.

“At the same time, the presence of Jordanian Chief of Staff Mish’al az-Zaben, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour as Defense Minister, Intelligence Chief Faisal ash-Shawbaki as security advisor to the palace and Royal Special Envoy for the Saudi File Dr. Bassem Awadallah in the reception, means that the Saudi number three man will discuss the details of the understandings and agreements recently reached with Jordan behind the scenes. Naturally, these issues could have been debated behind the scenes, but Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s visit in particular pointed to a joint wish to reproduce the general impression surrounding the existence of tensions and disputes…, and give the impression that Jordan’s roads – and subsequently the roads of the Jordanian vision – have become more “open” with the Saudi hierarchy, especially following similar understandings with number two man in Riyadh Prince Muhammad bin Nayef.

“It is no secret that Az-Zaben and Prince Muhammad bin Salman previously discussed a joint defense strategy, that Prince Bin Nayef attended unofficial contacts between the Americans and the Houthis in Amman, and that Jordan is willing to put a stop to its relations with Iran or tweak them in accordance with the Saudi compass, in parallel to the activation of the contacts with Turkey to please King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, which is what recently happened anyway.”


Written by nickbiddlenoe

August 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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