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Bahraini lawmaker presses for help to Jordan

GCC must beware of dire consequences if it fails to assist partner

  • By Habib Toumi Bureau Chief
  • Published: 15:30 November 15, 2012
  • Gulf News

Manama: A Bahraini lawmaker has called upon the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to assist Jordan as the country faces a difficult situation.

“Jordan has exploded after the government dropped subsidies on fuel, causing the prices to rise,” MP Adel Al Mouawda said. “The GCC countries should mobilise their forces and provide prompt assistance to contain the critical and ominous consequences. The GCC countries do have the financial capability to cover the subsidies and will not be affected by the move,” he said.

Al Mouawda, the second deputy speaker of the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament and one of the most prominent Salafis in Bahrain, said that Jordan had been forced to lift the subsidies in order to reduce the budget deficit.

“The GCC countries should not hesitate to leap into action or to delay their response. They should not overlook the dangerous consequences of the situation. The matter is very grave and logic and sense dictate that if there are fires in Jordan, putting them out would be highly onerous for the GCC countries,” he said.

“Recent experiences make us uneasy and cause concern about the lack of strategic thinking in the Gulf countries. The hesitation by the GCC states towards the Syrian revolution had no excuse. The GCC should go ahead and assist Jordan and the Jordanians,” he said.

According to Al Mouawda, Jordan is an extension of the Gulf countries and its national security was “an essential part of the Gulf national security.”

“The Gulf cannot accept the deterioration of the situation in Jordan, and it is our duty to help our brothers there. It is the right thing to do instead of wasting and squandering money on luxuries,” he said.

Jordan media on Thursday reported that “20 citizens were arrested and several were injured across the country on Wednesday as nationwide riots over rising fuel prices entered their second day.”

The violent protests stretched from the northern city of Irbid to the southern port city of Aqaba over a government decision on Tuesday to lift fuel subsidies, Jordan Times reported.

The incidents started when security forces and protesters clashed in the south following noon prayers.

The lifting of fuel subsidies was the first in a series of controversial austerity measures, taken by the government to trim annual energy subsidies. It is now looking into a five per cent electricity price rise.

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