Jordan expels Syrian ambassador

by The Daily Lede

Jordan expels Syrian ambassador

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan on Monday expelled the Syrian ambassador and ordered him to leave Amman within 24 hours, accusing him of making “offensive” statements about the kingdom.

The development was unexpected, since Jordan had kept a Syrian ambassador ever since the conflict erupted in 2011 in the neighboring country — despite quietly supporting rebels trying to overthrow the rule of President Bashar Assad.

The expulsion was first reported by the state-run Petra news agency.

Ambassador Bahjat Suleiman was declared persona non-grata because of “continued offensive statements, through his personal contacts or writing in the media and the social media against the kingdom,” according to a statement by the Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Sabah al-Rafie.

Jordan’s Information Minister Mohammed al-Momani also confirmed the expulsion in a text message to The Associated Press but provided no details.