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Jordanian king equates ‘Zionist extremists’ to Islamic State

Abdullah II tells MPs that countries must recognize extremism to fight it, according to source

Jordan's King Abdullah II addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 at U.N. headquarters. (photo credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Jordan's King Abdullah II addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 at U.N. headquarters. (photo credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II reportedly said that alongside Muslim radicals like the Islamic State, there also exist Zionist extremists, and that countries looking to fight extremism must recognize it in their midst.

A Jordanian source, cited by a Jordanian newspaper, was present at a meeting between the monarch and Jordanian MPs, in which he made the comments while speaking about Jordan’s efforts to battle extremists in Jordan and the country’s involvement in a US-led coalition to fight the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, according to Israel Radio.

Abdullah told the MPs that even if the military portion of the war on extremism is relatively short, it could take 10 or 15 years to overcome extremist ideologies in the region, according to the source. The king also said he opposed Jordan playing a military role in Syria and Iraq.

As the Islamic State and other jihadist groups have taken control of large swaths of neighboring Syria and Iraq, Jordan has been securing its borders and taking stiff measures to fight extremism internally.

Last month, Jordan said it arrested 11 members of the Islamic State group suspected of plotting terrorist attacks inside the Hashemite Kingdom. A security source said the suspects were planning to harm high-value interests in the country and admitted to the charges against them, Israel Radio reported.

Jordan also threw its support behind a US-led coalition that has been carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria in Iraq, although it has not contributed any of its fighting force.

Meanwhile, it has also solidified ties with Israel, with which it has peace treaty, agreeing to a $15 billion deal with Delek Group Ltd. and Nobel Energy Inc. to receive natural gas from Israel’s Leviathan energy field over the next 15 years. The deal came after several tumultuous years that have seen the natural gas supply between Egypt and Jordan frequently halted due to political overturn in Egypt and sabotage by militant groups in the Sinai Peninsula.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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