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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03AMMAN1842
2003-03-26 16:13:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 13 (3/26 1915 LOCAL)

Tags:   AEMR  AMGT  ASEC  CASC  CVIS  IZ  JO 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 001842 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2013
TAGS: AEMR AMGT ASEC CASC CVIS IZ JO
SUBJECT: TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 13 (3/26 1915 LOCAL)

REF: (A) CAIRO 2311

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

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



1. (C) The Embassy continued on a normal schedule throughout
March 26. Consular services were open. Activities at the
American Language Center and Peace Corps Office remain
suspended. Movements for American staff remain restricted.
A freezing rain fell on Amman all day today, keeping most
people off the streets. We received no reports from PSD of
any demonstrations today.



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


Consular Issues


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





2. (U) No new issues.



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


GOJ Actions/Statements


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





3. (C) FonMin Muasher's personal assistant confirmed to the
A/DCM today that, contrary to information contained in ref a,
Muasher did not/not attend the March 24 Arab League
Ministerial in Cairo. Jordan was represented by its
Ambassador to Egypt and Representative to the AL, Hani
al-Mulki.



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


Security


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





4. (U) No new issues.



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


Economic and Trade Developments


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





5. (sbu) The Jordanian American Business Association (JABA),
the AmCham in Jordan, agreed at a Board of Directors meeting
Tuesday to temporarily close its office for security reasons.
While JABA officials said there had been no specific threat
against the organization, the bombing Monday of British
Council offices in Beirut raised some concern among the
members. The office is located in the Shmeisani
neighborhood in Amman, the site of some recent
demonstrations. However, American fast-food restaurant
owners reported that Monday's anticipated march on the
restaurants (Amman 1800) never materialized, perhaps, they
said, due to the cold weather.



6. (sbu) Banks and capital markets continue to observe no
unusual activity. The Amman Stock Exchange was up .49% today
in normal trading. A local financial market participant told
econoff that, for now, investors were trying to conduct
"business as usual" despite being bombarded by news and
events that were at times "overwhelming", and that the
market is still hoping for a short war. Airport authorities
said that traffic was getting back to normal, although there
is no service at present to or from Kuwait. Jordan Telecom
said that both the mobile and fixed-line networks were
operating smoothly, and that, in fact, the company was
installing additional phone lines at the camps near
Ruweished.




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


Refugee/Humanitarian Issues


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





7. (SBU) Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) sent a two truck
convoy (driven by Jordanian nationals) into Iraq at 0900
local time March 26. MSF sent convoy information to the HOC,
OCHA and DART/Amman. We passed the information to
appropriate military officers and the HOC. MSF was advised
that the road was not secure and that travel at this time
would be extremely dangerous. MSF elected to proceed. The
Iraqi side of the border is controlled by Iraqi officials,
who allowed the convoy to enter Iraq. The convoy's
destination is Baghdad.



8. (SBU) IOM reports that there were no/no arrivals at the
Iraq-Jordan border over the last 24 hours. There are
currently 169 TCNs resident in the transit camp. Still no
sign of Iraqi refugees/asylum seekers.



9. (SBU) Horrible weather conditions (50-km/hr winds, rain &
sandstorms) have ground IOM repatriation efforts to a halt.
IOM reports that TCNs are unable to even open their tents
without the tents blowing over. The rubhall and several
unoccupied tents have blown away. IOM and the Jordan Red
Crescent are trying to fortify tents and have requested 1,000
additional spikes from UNHCR. IOM canceled today's planned
repatriation of five Sudanese nationals and will not
reschedule until weather conditions improve.


10. (SBU) UNRWA and IOM officials confirmed that the 20
Palestinians previously held at the no-man's land at the
border were moved into the transit camp on March 25. Two
members of the group are Jordanian citizens but have elected
to stay with their families in the transit camp until their
situation is resolved. UNRWA visited the group yesterday and
determined that 1 person does not qualify as an UNRWA
refugee, while 1 clearly qualifies. The other cases are
under review. UNRWA cautioned, however, that UNRWA refugee
status will not affect the Palestinians' ability to enter
Jordan -- that decision is up to the GOJ immigration
authorities alone. GOJ authorities have indicated to UNRWA
and IOM that they plan to hold the Palestinians in the
transit camp indefinitely.



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


Press


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





11. (sbu) Jordan papers were dominated by lead articles
rejecting Iraqi charges against Jordan and columns defending
the country's record as pro-Arab. Other editorials
reiterated their belief that the quick coalition victory that
some expected has not been achieved because Iraqis are
defending their homeland while American and British soldiers
are only "fighting for oil."
GNEHM