Syrian official to attend event in Amman next month

                             By Laith al-Junaidi</p>  <p>AMMAN (AA) – Syrian Parliament Speaker Hammoudeh al-Sabbagh will attend an Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (APU) conference next month in Amman, official Jordanian sources said Thursday.</p>  <p>According to a statement released by Jordan’s parliament, Hammoudeh has confirmed his attendance at the 29th APU conference to be held next month in the Jordanian capital.</p>  <p>Ties between Jordan and Syria soured following the eruption of the Syria conflict in 2011. They hit an all-time low in 2014 after Amman expelled Syria’s ambassador to Jordan.<br>  </p>  <p>Relations appear to have thawed in recent months, however, with the two neighbors officially reopening their shared border last October.</p>  <p>And in another sign of warming ties, Jordan raised the level of its diplomatic representation in Damascus to the level of chargé d'affaires in January.

Jordan PM holds brief meeting with Kuwaiti counterpart

            By Mohamed Abdul Ghaffar</p>  <p>KUWAIT CITY (AA) – Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Hamad al-Sabah has met with Jordanian counterpart Omar Razzaz, who paid a brief visit to Kuwait on Thursday.</p>  <p>According to Kuwait’s official KUNA news agency, the two men discussed “regional and international issues of joint concern and bilateral relations”.</p>  <p>Razzaz’s hours-long visit, which was not announced in advance, is his first official trip to Kuwait.</p>  <p>On Feb.11, the Kuwaiti PM traveled to Jordanian capital Amman for a two-day visit.

One killed in Jordan clashes

By Laith al-Junidi

AMMAN (AA) – One person was killed in clashes between security forces and local residents in northern Jordan, according to a Jordanian spokesman on Saturday.

The violence erupted late Friday when two persons driving a car refused to show their IDs in Muthalath Al-Kaida in the northern Ajloun province, Amer Sartawi, a spokesman for the General Security Directorate, said in a statement.

He said the situation escalated when relatives of the two persons intervened, triggering clashes with security forces, which left four security personnel injured.

According to the spokesman, two people sustained gunshot wounds from an “unknown source”, one of whom later died of his injuries.

3 killed in blast in western Jordan: Security source

            <p>By Laith Joneidi</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>AMMAN (AA) - Three people were killed and nine others injured on Thursday by an explosion that occurred in the town of Salt west of Jordanian capital Amman, according to a local security source.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>The source, who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to media, said the blast had been caused by an &quot;explosive device&quot;. </p>  <p><br></p>  <p>The source did not elaborate further, but some local media outlets attributed the three deaths to the detonation of a World War II-era landmine.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>The Jordanian authorities, for their part, have yet to comment on the reports.</p> 

Jordan amnesty law goes into force

By Laith al-Junidi

AMMAN (AA) – An amnesty law passed by the Jordanian parliament came into force on Tuesday after being published in the official gazette.

Almost half of the country's prison population are set to be released under the law, which was approved by King Abdullah II on Monday.

An unnamed government source said prisoners included in the amnesty law will be released as of Tuesday.

Jordanian Justice Minister Bassam al-Tahlouni estimates that around 8,000 prisoners will be pardoned under the new law.

The pardon will include people convicted of crimes ranging from slander, abuse, cyber crimes to tax evasions.

The crimes of espionage and formation of illegal entities are not pardoned under the law.

The pardon is the third of its kind since King Abdullah II took office in 1999.

Jordan to host second round of Yemen talks Tuesday

            <p>By Laith Juneidi </p>    <p>AMMAN (AA) – Jordan will host a second round of talks between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels on Tuesday.</p>  <p>A supervisory committee mandated with discussing a propose prisoner swap between the two sides is set to convene on Feb. 5, according to a statement released by UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths.</p>  <p>The committee reportedly includes representatives of the Yemeni government, the Houthis and the UN.</p>  <p>On Saturday, Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sufyan Qudah confirmed that Amman had agreed to Griffiths’ request to host the meeting later this week. </p>  <p>Talks are aimed at hammering out a prisoner-exchange deal between Yemen’s Aden-based government and the Sanaa-based rebel group.</p>  <p>Last month, Jordan hosted a first round of talks between the two sides in hopes of reaching a mutually-acceptable prisoner-exchange agreement. </p>  <p>Late last year, peace talks in Sweden ended with a ceasefire being declared in Yemen’s coastal Al-Hudaydah province. </p>  <p>Since then, however, the warring parties have both failed to withdraw from the province in line with the terms of the Stockholm agreement.</p> 

Jordanian king starts official visit to Turkey

By Laith Joneidi

AMMAN (AA) – Jordanian King Abdullah II set off on Saturday for an official visit to Turkey, according to the Jordanian Royal Court.

King Abdullah II left with Queen Rania Al Abdullah for Turkey to hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Jordanian Court said in a statement.

The Jordanian monarch's visit comes at an invitation from the Turkish president.

Following a one-day visit to Turkey, King Abdullah is scheduled to visit Tunisia on Sunday to meet with President Baji Caid Essebsi.

Jordan to host second round of Yemeni peace talks

By Laith Joneidi

AMMAN (AA) – Jordan on Saturday agreed to host a second round of peace talks between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels, according to the country’s foreign ministry.

In a statement, ministry spokesman Sufyan Qudah said Amman "agreed to a request by UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths to host the meeting next week".

The talks will be dedicated to tackle the issue of prisoners exchange between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels, he said. Qudah, however, did not specify a starting date for the talks.

In January, Jordan hosted the first meeting of prisoners exchange between the Yemeni government and Houthis.

On December 13, Yemeni peace talks held in Sweden concluded with a ceasefire deal in the coastal Al-Hudaydah province.

However, the warring parties have failed to withdraw from the province amid accusations of breaching the deal.

Impoverished Yemen has remained dogged by violence since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

Jordan's King Abdullah II to visit Turkey on Sunday

                             By Laith al-Juneidi</p>    <p>AMMAN (AA) - Jordanian King Abdullah II will pay an official visit to Turkey on Sunday at the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Jordan’s Royal Court said in a Friday statement.</p>    <p>According to the statement, the king -- along with his wife, Queen Rania -- will then travel from Turkey to Tunisia, where they are scheduled to meet with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.</p>    <p>No additional information has been made available regarding the royal couple’s travel itinerary. 

President Erdogan to host Jordanian king in Turkey

             By Aynur Ekiz</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - Jordan's King Abdullah II will pay a two-day visit to Turkey over the weekend.</p>    <p>In a statement on Friday, the presidential press office of Turkey said King Abdullah II will come to Turkey on Feb. 2-3 upon an invitation from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.</p>    <p>The meetings will discuss political, economic, military and cultural relations between the two countries and ways to strengthen mutual cooperation.</p>    <p>Palestine cause, status of Jerusalem, Syria, Iraq and the latest developments in the region will be on the agenda.