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2003-03-17 13:22:00
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

Jordan: Special media reaction on President's

Tags:   KMDR  JO 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS AMMAN 001598 SIPDIS STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR, I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD, NEA/IPA FOR ALTERMAN USAID/ANE/MEA LONDON FOR GOLDRICH PARIS FOR O'FRIEL USCINCCENT//CCPA, USCENTCOM REAR MACDILL AFB FL STATE PASS TO AID E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KMDR JO SUBJECT: Jordan: Special media reaction on President's statement regarding the road map Though the major Arabic dailies led with President Bush's announcement about the roadmap along with the King's welcoming statement, commentaries were skeptical regarding U.S. intentions, implying that the President's statement was designed as a "tranquilizer" or "bribe" before the war on Iraq. Of the major papers only the English-language Jordan Times found positive elements in the announcement. End summary. Reports On Saturday 15, all Jordanian dailies led with adjacent reports on the President's announcement regarding the road map, and on the King's statement welcoming the announcement. The main stories were identical compilations from international news agencies, but center-left, influential Arabic daily Al- Dustour also carried the full text of the President's remarks, and the "full text of the road map." In Al-Rai, on Saturday 15, the "political editor" wrote that: "The King's efforts have resulted in the American commitment to peace and to the creation of a Palestinian state." On Sunday 16, veteran cartoonist Jalal Al-Rifai, in center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour, drew President Bush in full combat gear and shouldering a nuclear weapon, flicking a pill over his shoulder into the mouth of an elated Arab. The pill is described as: "The Palestinian state tranquilizer pill." Commentaries -- "One meal after the 1991 meal and another before the 2003 meal" Prominent daily columnist Tariq Masarwah wrote in semi- official influential Arabic daily Al-Rai on Sunday 16: "Washington's reference to the road map, and London's insistence on it are meaningless. They will have no effect either on the scandalous and immoral double standards or on the reaction of peoples who are angry at all the crimes being committed against them. The promised Palestinian state, should it be established after realizing all the impossible preconditions, will be without frontiers, without people, without a capital, and without any direct contact between its parts." -- "The bribe of the road map" Daily columnist Yasser Za'atreh wrote in center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour on Sunday 16: "The American president might as well have kept his offer of a bribe, because it will only increase the hatred against America's arrogance. At best, the road map can only gain minimal acceptance among the Palestinian public. But after the Sharon-Bush amendments, it will be nothing but a surrender document. The promised Palestinian state, as defined by Sharon in his electoral campaign, is without borders, without control on its points of entry and egress, without the right of forming international agreements. This, we are offered before the war on Iraq and the change of the map that Powell announced. What the Sharon-Bush duo will offer us after the war remains to be seen." Under the title, "Better Late than Never," the Jordan Times main editorial noted that Jordanians heaved a "sigh of relief at hearing Bush reinforce his `personal' commitment to publishing the roadmap." But it also criticized the implication that "the U.S., not the Quartet decides what to do with the roadmap; and that the U.S., not the Palestinians decides what powers their premier should have." GNEHM