AMMAN, Jordan — American-born Queen Noor of Jordan said Sunday that her husband is a loyal friend of the West, an experienced mediator for peace and an honorable man who is being misrepresented in the United States and pressured to take sides.
"There has been a lot of disinformation about his motives," said Queen Noor, born Lisa Halaby of Washington, D.C., in an interview. "It has been very disturbing."
Although King Hussein has called on Iraq to withdraw its troops from Kuwait, he has generally sided with his powerful neighbor Saddam Hussein while still trying to promote peace negotiations.
On Saturday, he appealed to the United States to withdraw its troops from Saudi Arabia as soon as possible.
Queen Noor did not provide specific examples of disinformation, but her husband's reluctance to sever trade links with Iraq, mainly for economic considerations, has sparked U.S. accusations that he has become an apologist for Hussein.
Since his coronation in 1953, King Hussein, 54, has been one of Washington's closest Arab allies.
Like their queen, a Princeton-educated daughter of a prominent airline executive, many Jordanians now feel betrayed by the United States.
"People have this attitude that you are either with us or you are against us, but this is an attitude that has never worked," the 39-year-old queen said in a palace interview.
" . . . Jordan hasn't chosen a camp," she said. "Jordan has had its role throughout history of being a crossroads, it is geographically a crossroads, and in politics it has been a mediator. It has been a force for peace and stability. Working always for that."