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Jordan denies training Syrian rebels after Paris statement

16 September, 11:34

    (ANSAmed) - AMMAN, SEPTEMBER 16 - Jordan today denied training Syrian army defectors on its territories, one day after France announced that Amman will join other nations in supporting rebels seeking to topple the Syrian regime.

    The Paris announcement of last week has been surprising to Jordanian officials, who until very recently distanced themselves from openly showing support for rebels.

    Following a meeting in Paris of foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France and Jordan an official announcement indicated Jordan will participate in arming and supporting rebels. No details were disclosed to the nature of support, but rebels told ANSA they are expecting "game changing" weapons that could balance the war in their favour.

    The announcement has been described as "an important shift" in Jordan policies towards Syria crisis.

    Meanwhile, Interior Minister Hussein Majali said today the kingdom is home to more than two thousand defectors, who arrived since the crisis erupted early 20111. He, however strongly rejected reports that defectors and rebels are receiving training.

    But several official sources have confirmed that Jordan did provide training to rebels.

    "Since the start of the Syrian crisis, Jordan has always stressed that political solution is the only way to end the crisis. Killing brings only more killings," Majali said.

    But officials and rebel sources have confirmed the kingdom provided training to dozens of rebels during the past two years.

    Rebel leaders told ANSA that training takes place in the eastern part of Jordan desert and includes Arab and foreign instructors.

    Jordan has been walking on the rope regarding the Syrian crisis by avoiding to take sides.

    Majali, however stressed his country borders will remain open for refugees, after number of Syrian asylum seekers reached 1.3 million, 135,000 are registered refugees.

    Majali said during an interview with al Rai newspaper that the government has recently formed a ministerial committee to count the exact number of Syrians in the country.(ANSAmed).

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