International Judge Named Jordan’s Prime Minister

Jordan's King Abdullah appointed Awn al-Khasawneh, a former judge at the International Court of Justice, as prime minister in order to promote public confidence in a reform process that has been hit by several instances of violence and government failings. Al Arabiya correspondence, Saad Silawi conducted an exclusive interview with Jordanian Prime Minister. Question: You were appointed as the Prime Minister of Jordan at a critical time during these global changes, how do you see the future of this transitional period and what's your priorities? Answer: First of all, I am not the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister designate and there is a big difference between the two. God's willing, things are progressing for the good, the current period is difficult and critical on Jordan and the Arab nation, but with all the efforts, cooperation and people's awareness about the importance of maintaining security, peace and prosperity in the country, we will be able to overcome all obstacles. Question:Today while you are presenting the government, Is it possible that you willl be talking with the Muslim Brotherhood, and what is the nature and form of the next government? Others also said that you used to hold an important International position, as a judge at the High Court of Justice and the Vice-President of the International Tribunal in The Hague, why would you leave this post to accept a position in government? Answer: I left that position, which is very important to me personally and to the Arabs and Muslims, because I believe that I have a duty to serve my country. With regards to form a new government, we are open to all political parties in the country, including the Muslim Brotherhood. I only have feelings of friendship and love for all Jordanians, regardless of their political affiliations. We should all cooperate and work together for the good of our country. Al-Khasawneh joined the diplomatic service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1975 and became president of the Jordanian Royal Court between 1996 and 1998. He was elected in 2000 as a judge of the International Court of Justice and as Vice President of the Court in 2006. Outgoing Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit, who was appointed last February after demonstrations calling for the departure of his predecessor, Samir Rifai, has faced sharp criticism from the opposition, accusing him of having failed to implement reforms. Speaker: Awn al-Khasawneh, Jordan Prime Minister Voices: Mustapha Ajbaili Mourad Kricha By: Ikram Al Yacoub, Al Arabiya

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