Jordanian Foreign Minister says Gaza is being seen as religious war

The kingdom, a US ally, has called for ceasefire in Gaza

An Israeli bombing raid on Gaza, October 12, 2023. Getty
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The conflict in Gaza is being seen as a war between the West and Islam, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said late on Sunday.

"Continuation of the war and no international demands to stop it are generating popular impressions that this a western-Arab Muslim war," the official Jordanian news agency quoted Mr Safadi as telling Josep Borrell, the EU foreign minister, in a phone call.

The agency did not give details.

It was the latest stark Jordanian warning about Gaza.

Jordan's King Abdullah said during trips to Europe and Egypt in the past 10 days that the conflict could bring about a regional catastrophe.

Jordan has a defence pact with Washington and is dependent on US and other western aid.

King Abdullah, while not criticising US support for Israel directly, has called for an immediate ceasefire, a position that Washington does not endorse.

On Saturday, the king told an inconclusive international meeting in Cairo organised to discuss the war that international laws and respect for human rights "stop at races and they stop at religions".

King Abdullah also cautioned against the war bringing in a new influx of Palestinian refugees to Jordan.

The kingdom was the primary destination for Palestinians who were forced to flee their homeland during the 1948 creation of Israel, and during its expansion in 1967.

As a result, people of Palestinian descent constitute a large proportion of Jordan's more than 10 million population.

Updated: October 23, 2023, 3:50 AM