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Queen's remarks on Israel create diplomatic storm

A royal trip to Jordan of unprecedented political significance has left Queen Elizabeth II at the center of a major diplomatic controversy. By the time the Queen left Friday after her four-day visit, Jordan's King Hussein was beaming and Israeli government was furious, writes Monitor contributor Alexander MacLeod.

During the visit, the Queen was shown a map of Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank near the border with Jordan and described it as ''depressing.'' She was also irritated when Israeli aircraft broke the sound barrier in the skies above the touring party.

Britain's Foreign Office tried to explain her remarks as being normal and factual, but nobody could find precedents for such clear-cut expressions of royal sympathy with a country in conflict with a neighbor.

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