Jordan Will Demand That Kuwait Use Iraqi Reparations To Compensate Palestinian Refugees, Crown Prince Says
JORDAN will demand that Kuwait use some of its war reparations from Iraq to compensate the Palestinians being forced out of the emirate, Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan said early this week.In an interview, the crown prince said his government is drawing up the legal framework for such a claim. "Logically, I believe that [Kuwait's reparations] should include reparations for these people, because after all, they are Kuwaiti dependents," he said. "There has to be recognition of the fact that you don't just summarily expel people without due recognition of their basic rights." More than 200,000 Palestinians carrying Jordanian passports have arrived in Jordan since Iraq's invasion of Kuwait last year. Officials here expect Kuwaiti authorities to expel another 100,000 by November. This flood has burdened Jordan's frail economy. Jordan's government has thus far been hesitant to ask for international financial aid, Prince Hassan indicated, because it does not want to compromise its planned demand for compensation from Kuwait. Under a United Nations authorized plan, Iraq is being allowed to pump $1.6 billion worth of oil, the first 30 percent of which is owed to Kuwait as initial war reparations. "But if there is a categorical 'no' on compensation," Hassan said, "then the international community" must supply it. The crown prince, younger brother to King Hussein, also warned that the flood of immigrants could upset the Mideast peace process and conference set for October. Jordan has said it will attend such a conference, but officials here worry that domestic problems, including large numbers of impoverished immigrants, could distract attention from international affairs. "You cannot enter into international obligations if you have some basic structural problems at home," the crown prince said. Hassan was bitter at the way Gulf states, especially Kuwait, have treated Palestinian workers, recalling that the Gulf Cooperation Council has agreed to attend peace talks. "The most important ancillary issue is for them to contribute to the stability of the region during peace talks," the prince said. "But I don't see how they are contributing to a stable process ... by making Jordan's task and the Palestinians' task that much more difficult, throwing human suffering at us they way they have."