Hussein in Mecca to woo King Fahd
Jordanian officials were at pains to stress in public that this was a private visit to perform the umra, or minor pilgrimage to Mecca. But such a visit could hardly be construed as private, given that King Hussein is accompanied by his Prime Minister, Abdul Salaam Majali, other government officials and three of his sons. And Mecca is, of course, the centre of the historic rivalry between the Hashemite dynasty in Jordan and the House of Saud: it is the city of which King Hussein's great-grandfather, Abdullah, was Sharif, before being ousted by King Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud in 1921.
King Fahd has until now rebuffed King Hussein's attempts at reconciliation. It is more than a year since King Hussein sent a message in which he apologised for any personal offence to King Fahd. But he met with no positive response. And Saudi Arabia, on whose financial support Jordan had depended, has refused to re-establish its links with Jordan.
Signs emerged a month ago of some softening of the Saudi position when the PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat, equally in the doghouse over his stance during the Gulf war, was allowed into Saudi Arabia. Then too the visit was described as a private one to perform the umra. But he was granted an audience with King Fahd as befits a visiting head of state (Mr Arafat being 'president of Palestine').
Privately, Jordanian officials acknowledged that a meeting between King Hussein and King Fahd was being arranged to end the rift between them.
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...