Jordanian education and tourism ministers resign over Dead Sea disaster

Updated 01 November 2018

Jordanian education and tourism ministers resign over Dead Sea disaster

  • 21 people died in flash floods last week, many of them school children on a field trip.
  • Many of those killed were children under 14.

AMMAN: Jordan's tourism and education ministers resigned Thursday in response to flash floods near the Dead Sea that killed 21 people- mostly children.

The government has come under increasing pressure for the disaster last Thursday after it emerged that a school trip had gone ahead despite warnings of bad weather. 

The Minister of Tourism Lina Annab and Minister of Education Azmi Mahafzah submitted their resignation to Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz after several members of parliament called for their dismissal earlier this week. 

Annab said that she had resigned from her post as Minister of Tourism and Antiquities “in light of the general political climate and the painful situation that our beloved country experienced and is experiencing.”

It has not yet been announced whether the Jordanian prime minister had accepted the resignations or not.

Pupils on the school trip, their teachers and minders had stepped out of their bus in a tourist area called Al-Miyah Al-Sakhina when they were hit by a flash flood that washed them towards the nearby Dead Sea.

Twenty-one people died in the floods and many of them were children under 14. Families picnicking in the popular destination were also among the dead and injured.

Jordanian political scientist Philip Madant told Arab News that the decision helped preserve Prime Minister Omar Razzaz's government. 

MP Nabil Gheishan told Arab News that the resignation avoids a major confrontation that could have brought down the government. “This was the least that they can do to ensure the government stays.”





Iranian official in surprise visit to Lebanon

Updated 18 July 2019

Iranian official in surprise visit to Lebanon

  • Some of the threats made by the Zionist enemy are not in favor of the region’s security, Abdollahian says

BEIRUT: “Lebanon must be kept out of all regional crises,” said Iran’s Shoura Council assistant speaker for international affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, during a surprise visit to Beirut on Wednesday.

“We say at the top of our voice that Iran and its allies will not allow the Zionist entity and the US to damage the region’s security.”

Following his meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Abdollahian said that Tehran “is convinced that the security of Lebanon is the security of the region and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Abdollahian added that “some of the threats made by the Zionist enemy are not in favor of the region’s security.”

He described his talks with Berri as “good and constructive.”

“We will not allow Israel, US to interfere with regional security.”

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s Shoura Council official

Abdollahian said: “We have come today to reaffirm that Iran fully supports the people, army, resistance and government of Lebanon, and we look forward to developing relations between our two countries until they reach the highest levels.”

He said he believes that the statements of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are for “domestic consumption,” accusing him of “making some moves in the region that are not in his favor.”

Netanyahu responded to a message from Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday by threatening Hezbollah during Israel’s Cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu said: “Let me be clear that if Hezbollah dares to commit an act of stupidity and attack Israel, we will deal a crushing military blow on Lebanon. But unlike Nasrallah, I do not intend to detail our plans. It would be enough to recall that, for years, Nasrallah dug terror tunnels, and we demolished them within a few days.”