Support for the Iraqi People

On the political level, rest assured that it (the Iraqi cause) is the primary cause. . . . Darkness, torture, deprivation and oppression against a people make it imperative for us to do our utmost on the political level to end this darkness and usher in a new dawn, God willing. We do not need to be reminded of this, because this is our duty and part of our loyalty to our brothers who stood by us one day. We treat people in the same way we would wish they treat us if we are experiencing difficult circumstances.

Address on the 45th Anniversary of King Hussein’s Assumption of his Constitutional Powers
May 3, 1998


Iraq is a country of rich culture and history. It is also a country rich in resources. Furthermore, Iraq’s size and geographic location make it an important political player and essential to the security of this region. It is therefore crucial for Jordan, as well as for Iraq’s neighbors, that that country regain its stability, its integrity and its place among nations.

Jordan has always been concerned with the situation in Iraq and the suffering of its people. We have always been dedicated to the cause of alleviating their suffering. This is a country that is imprisoned from without and from within. It is a country that suffers from the lack of democracy, and from the lack of respect of basic human rights. It is a country with a people that are stifled and are yearning, I believe, to regain their rights to live. It is a country of great suffering, a country where atrocities are committed. Externally, the siege imposed on the Iraqi regime has cost the lives of countless Iraqi children and has left the Iraqi people destitute. I am very deeply saddened by this nightmare that has continued for far too long.

I believe firmly that the unity and integrity of Iraq must be maintained, and we will do everything that we can to promote national reconciliation among all the different mosaics that make up Iraq. Whatever they agree upon is solely up to them to decide and we will do whatever we can for the safety, territorial integrity and unity of Iraq.

Interview with World Statesman magazine
November 4, 1996


Our quarrel is not with Iraq. Our struggle has been for the Iraqi people to secure their rights to live in peace and harmony. Our commitment is to support them to live in democracy. A country with such a history and diverse cultures as Iraq should be an example for others. This is a course we’ll continue to advocate.

Interview with the Los Angeles Times
June 16, 1996


As for brotherly Iraq, our motivation and objective is only to preserve its unity, cohesion, and sovereignty on all its national soil, and to end the suffering of the Iraqi people, regardless of the source of this suffering or its form. We have no design nor ambition in this. All we hope is for our cherished Iraq to overcome its plight, and to regain its rightful place in the Arab world, and for Iraqi citizen to enjoy his right to life in freedom and dignity.

Address to Mo’tah University
Karak, Jordan
May, 1996


I believe that the cause of the tragedy in Iraq stems from the policies followed by the Iraqi leadership.

We have reached a point in which we feel that Iraq is threatened with division and partition and loss and that our brothers have reached a degree of suffering that can no more be tolerated and that a brother’s duty requires that a brother should support and save his brother.

Interview with Al-Watan newspaper
December 23, 1995


I wish to state categorically, against all rumors, fears and speculation that, as a Hashemite, I personally have no ambition in Iraq. Yet, I can no longer turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the anguish and needs of the people of Iraq. They have been imprisoned for years by an international embargo and have endured for far too long the absence of democracy, pluralism and human rights. All the Iraqi people, all the Arab states, together with the international community, must join together to bring an end to all the causes of Iraqi suffering and denial, both internally and externally.

I stand firmly for the preservation for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. I would encourage and support an immediate free dialogue between the credible representatives of the three major elements that comprise the people of Iraq, namely the Sunni and Shi’a Arabs, and the Kurds, to achieve a national reconciliation. This would remove the fears and suspicions which have shattered their relations and threatened their future.

I would offer them all my support, and I implore them to engage in a serious dialogue to formulate a new constitution defining their respective aspirations and rights, within the context of their one country of Iraq, based on democracy, pluralism and respect for human rights.

Address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Strasbourg, France
September 25, 1995


We cannot look with indifference as the plight of the people of Iraq grows more and more tragic with every renewal of the Security Council’s imposition of sanctions. As their misery increases, I cannot, nor can any Jordanian or other Arab family, sleep comfortably in our beds with the spectre of the sick and hungry children of Iraq before our eyes.

Address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Strasbourg, France
September 25, 1995


Iraq must be a part of this area and a part of its nation. My concern and pain is for the Iraqi people and their suffering. Nothing more, nothing less. It is inevitable that Iraq once again becomes part of this area. It is a must that the suffering of the Iraqi people, and I repeat people, ends. This situation cannot last.

Interview with Al-Hayat newspaper
February 19, 1995


All I can tell you is that as far as I am concerned, I’m very hurt for the Iraqi people. No matter what I say, this is a fact. In the period until 1958 my family was in Iraq; Iraq was a part of a union with Jordan. I lost this family. I lost so much there.

Yet I recognized Iraq following that and the right of the Iraqis to decide their own fate, and their own future, and withdrew from the scene myself.

And recently the war with Iran; I mean, we were suddenly confronted with it. We had to rush in to help because of the threat it produced to the entire region.

More recently the attack on Kuwait, we were not for that. We were never for it. We were unaware of it being hatched up and suddenly, there it was. And we tried our best to resolve that problem peacefully. Now to go back into the same situation again with all that has happened to the people of Iraq in the interim period is something that’s unbelievable. We are very concerned and very worried for the people, but we cannot identify in any form or way with these policies that are bringing about these threats and disasters to this region.

Press Conference with US Secretary of State Warren Christopher
October 13, 1994


I care very deeply for the people of Iraq and I have made it abundantly clear . . . that if I ever were an obstacle to Jordan and its progress, I wouldn’t think twice about stepping down. The people of Jordan would be more important.

Interview with Reuters news agency
April 30, 1993

If you ask me what I wish for Iraq, I wish for its national reconciliation, real movement towards democracy, pluralism, respect for human rights and hopefully an end to this nightmare of suffering of the Iraqi people.

Interview with Reuters news agency
April 30, 1993


During the Iraq-Iran war, the Iranian leadership set a precondition that the Iraqi leader (Saddam Hussein) had to change before peace. At that point, I and many in the world in positions of responsibility said this is a very dangerous precedent.

It is not my responsibility nor my right to seek the change of this or that leader. It is for the people of that country to decide.

Regarding Iraq, I wish for a period that would provide the chance for national reconciliation. I would wish for democracy. I would wish for human rights.

Interview with Defense News magazine
March 22-28, 1993


We affirmed then, and do now, our commitment to the unity of Iraq and independence of its people, and also to the principle that any issue related to Iraq must be subject to the will of its own people. We only wished for Iraq what we wished for ourselves and the Arab people, wherever they may be. What we wish for is a national reconciliation and democracy which would enable it to overcome all obstacles. We also wish for political pluralism which would achieve stability, establish trust among brethren, and achieve complementarity.

Address to the Royal Staff and Command College
November 23, 1992


What do we wish for Iraq? What we have always wished, a national reconciliation, pluralism, democracy, respect for human rights and then for the Iraqis to harness the tremendous assets that they have toward building a country that is stable and that has a place under the sun as it did in the past.

Interview with The New York Times
November 8, 1992


It is the people who will be the fodder of a destructive war that is on the verge of starting, leaving no victors in its wake. Real victories are those that protect human life, not those that result from its destruction or emerge from its ashes.

Address to the Nation
January 15, 1991