Jordan has threatened to deport 324,000 Egyptian workers because of their breach of the country's immigration laws. The Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Dr Awad Khleifat said that up to
half a million Egyptian workers reside in Jordan, but only 176,000 have valid work permits, with the others illegally present on the territory of the Kingdom.
Dr Khleifat met Egyptian ambassador Khaled Tharwat and told him that the situation needs to be rectified. "Any newcomer who does not have a valid work permit will be sent back for violating the stay conditions according to the terms and conditions of the agreement signed by the government of Jordan and Egypt."
Dr Khleifat added that Jordan was keen to crackdown on the problem of illegal labour, which required an immediate review of the kingdom's situation and its agreements with each State.
The Egyptian ambassador stressed the deeply entrenched relations between the two countries which he described as "strategic and distinctive," calling on the minister to provide more time for Egyptian workers to rectify their positions and obtain work permits to stay in Jordan.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways to strengthen and develop bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields, especially supplying Jordan with natural gas according to the agreement concluded between the two countries.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that Egypt’s non-compliance with the implementation of the agreement has led Jordan to lose more than $4bn in the last two years and caused an unprecedented rise in its debts.
He stressed on the importance of providing Jordan with gas, noting that the frequent stop of the gas supply had a negative impact on the economic situation in the Kingdom and formed a heavy burden on resources of the state. He said that the total amount of gas which should be exported to Jordan is 250 million cubic feet of gas per day, while the production of Egypt's daily gas is around six billion cubic feet. This means that the amount of gas exported to Jordan is less than four percent of the daily production of the Egyptian gas, and would not have an impact on Egyptian sectors dependent on gas.
The Egyptian ambassador said he will work hard with the government to supply Jordan with the agreed quantities of Egyptian gas, despite the difficulties faced by his country in supplying Egyptians with energy.