Mashaal arrived in the Jordanian capital earlier Sunday along with the Qatari heir to the throne Sheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani. They were received at Marka airport by Jordan’s crown prince Hussein Ben Abdullah, along with prince Ali Ben Hussein.
According to the Hamas-affiliated website Palestinian Information Center, Mashaal met first with king Abdullah and Sheikh Tamim before they were joined by Hamas’ delegation.
The delegation included Mousa Abu Marzouq, Sami Khatir, Izzat Ar-Rishiq, Muhammad Nazzal and Muhammad Nasr.
Mashaal, meanwhile, has effectively abandoned his headquarters in Damascus, diplomatic and intelligence sources said Friday as Syrian forces continued a 10-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.
“He’s not going back to Syria,” a regional intelligence source said of Mashaal.
Analysts say Mashaal was embarrassed by Assad’s crackdown, in which more than 5,000 people have been killed, many of them Sunni Muslim sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Jordan expelled Mashaal and three other Hamas members from the country in 1999 after accusing them of threatening Jordan’s stability.