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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03AMMAN1708 2003-03-22 07:25:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 6 (3/22 0930 LOCAL)

Tags:   AEMR AMGT CASC CVIS IZ 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.
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 001708 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/20/2013
TAGS: AEMR AMGT CASC CVIS IZ JO
SUBJECT: TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 6 (3/22 0930 LOCAL)


Classified By: Acting DCM Doug Silliman. Reason 1.5 (b,d).

----------------
General Overview
----------------



1. (C) Embassy Amman will remain on "standfast" through
March 22.



2. (C) Finance Minister Marto told us privately that plans
were in the works to raise domestic gasoline and fuel oil
prices. The increase was included in the 2003 budget and an
initial gasoline price increase of 25 fils/liter (13
cents/gallon) was to have gone into effect on Friday, March


21. However, Marto said that King Abdullah decided the
moment was not right politically. Marto was confident,
however, that prices for these products, as well as for
kerosene and cooking gas, would be increased soon.



--------------------------


Consular Issues


--------------------------





3. (U) No new issues to report. The number of consular
inquiries remains very small.



--------------------------


GOJ Actions/Statements


--------------------------





4. (U) King Abdullah delivered an address on national TV at
approximately 2000 local time March 21. The King stressed
the importance of "placing our national interest above all
interests and considerations," and the primacy of maintaining
Jordan's security and stability. He stated that
demonstrations in support of "the brotherly Iraqi people"
should be "expressed in a civilized manner," and that such
"expressions should reflect the true belonging to beloved
Jordan." The King ended his address by urging Jordanians to
go to work and carry on with daily life, and with assurance
that the GOJ was taking measures to ensure the continuity of
normal daily life in Jordan.



--------------------------


Security


--------------------------





5. (C) Embassy contacts reported media reports (Al Jazeera)
that Jordanian Islamic activists are demanding that all
Americans leave Jordan. Embassy has been unable to confirm
this story through local contacts.



6. (C) Embassy contacts reported at 2030 local time March 21
that demonstrations were continuing in the southern Jordanian
city of Ma'an. According to these sources, one PSD officer
was injured in the demonstrations. Media reports of March 22
indicated "spur of the moment" demonstrations were held March
21 in various locations throughout the country, with some
reportedly calling for "Arab armies" to come to the aid of
Iraq and Saddam. A Media report indicated that protesters
demanded the expulsion of US troops and the US Ambassador at
an unlicensed March 21 afternoon demonstration in downtown
Amman.



--------------------------


Refugee/Humanitarian Issues


--------------------------





7. (C) IOM contacts reported at 2100 local time March 21
that the Jordan-Iraq border remains open. A total of 470
TCN's have crossed into Jordan. The majority are Sudanese;
other nationalities include Egyptians, Yemenis, Somalis,
Chadians and Eritreans. IOM medical staff report that some
arrivals suffer from respiratory infections and exhaustion.
No Iraqi refugees/asylum seekers have yet attempted to enter
Jordan. An IOM charter flight with 140 Sudanese departed
Amman for Khartoum at Midnight March 21. Another 160
Sudanese scheduled to depart the Ruweished camp told IOM
officials they feared persecution if they returned home and
asked to stay in the camp. Negotiations between the group,
Sudanese embassy officials, Jordanian authorities and
concerned international agencies are continuing.



--------------------------


Press


--------------------------





8. (U) No new issues to report.
GNEHM