Interior, foreign minister unseated in Jordan cabinet reshuffle

January 15, 2017 9:00 pm

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh has been unseated in a cabinet reshuffle. (AFP photo)

Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulqi has unseated the country’s interior and foreign ministers in a second cabinet reshuffle since September last year.
Mulqi said in a statement from the royal palace on Sunday that Interior Minister Salama Hammad will be replaced by Ghaleb Zohbi, a lawyer who had previously held the same post.
The statement by the Jordanian premier also announced that Jordan’s long-serving Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh would be replaced by Ayman Safadi, formerly an adviser to the king and deputy prime minister. Judeh had served as foreign minister since 2009.
The statement would not elaborate on why the ministers were replaced. The reshuffle, the second in Jordan since September 28, comes after some 50 lawmakers called for a motion in the parliament to censure Hammad, who has faced severe criticism over his inability to prevent terror attacks in the country.
The criticism intensified after a December 18 attack by the Daesh Takfiri group, which killed 10 people, including seven policemen and a female Canadian national, at the popular Jordanian tourist destination of Karak. Four assailants were killed after an hours-long siege of a famous Crusader castle, with reports suggesting the suspects had fled after opening fire on police. Daesh claimed responsibility for the carnage and said that four members of the group used machine guns and hand grenades to carry out the attack.
Jordan’s military has been contributing to an aerial campaign allegedly targeting Daesh in Iraq and Syria led the United States. Jordanian fighter jets have carried out air strikes against the alleged positions of Daesh in those two Arab countries, prompting reprisals from the Takfiri group. Jordan has also hosted troops from the US-led coalition on its soil.
Daesh carried out attacks on civilians and security forces in Jordan last year, with the most notable taking place in June when seven guards were killed near the border with Syria.
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