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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03AMMAN1922
2003-03-31 16:10:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 21 (3/31 1800 LOCAL)

Tags:   AEMR  AMGT  ASEC  PREL  CASC  CVIS  EFIN  ETRD  IZ  JO 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 001922 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/29/2013
TAGS: AEMR AMGT ASEC PREL CASC CVIS EFIN ETRD IZ JO
SUBJECT: TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 21 (3/31 1800 LOCAL)

Classified By: DCM Gregory L. Berry for reasons 1.5 (b)(d).

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



1. (C) The Embassy operated on a normal schedule March 31.
Consular services were open. Activities at the American
Language Center remain suspended, and there is only
restricted activity by FSN's at the Peace Corps office.
Movements of American staff remain restricted.



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


Consular Issues


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





2. (C) Consular Section and RMO visited injured Amcit peace
activist Mr. Weldon Nisly in a local hospital. He is
recovering nicely, but will be unable to travel to the U.S.
with his colleagues on April 1. One of his colleagues will
be staying with him and they will probably depart in a few
days. The other six Amcit peace activists are scheduled to
depart for the U.S. on Tuesday.



3. (C) Voices in the Wilderness activist, Mr. Ramzi Kysia,
earlier reported to have departed Baghdad on Sunday 3/30 for
Jordan and not heard from since, is confirmed by two sources
to have remained in Baghdad and is said to be okay.



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


GOJ Actions/Statements


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





4. (U) No new issues.



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


Security


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





5. (C) According to the PSD, a number of anti-war protests
and gatherings were planned for March 31 in Madaba, the
Baqa'a Palestinian refugee camp, and Zarqa University. The
Women's Union and the Artists' Union also scheduled protests
at two locations in downtown Amman, and a candlelight vigil
is to be held in the evening at the King Abdullah Mosque.
PSD did not intend to intervene or prevent any of these
activities. As of 1800 we have received no reports of any
violence or problems.



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


Economic and Trade Developments


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





6. (sbu) Bucking the global trend, the Amman Stock Exchange
closed up 1.4 percent Monday, due to advances in the banking
and industry sectors. The Central Bank confirmed that
foreign currency demand continues to be unaffected by the
conflict next door.



7. (sbu) Jordanian exporters complained about war risk
insurance premiums and transport fees imposed on shipments to
the GCC countries, which account for 15 percent of Jordan's
exports. Insurance premiums have increased by three percent
since the beginning of the war. Exporters say that transport
fees to the Gulf have gone up 50 percent overall. Insurance
companies have not imposed war risk premiums on other
destinations.



8. (sbu) The Jordan Medical Association (JMA) called on its
15,000 members to donate JD10 (USD 14) each to "the Iraqi
people resisting the U.S.-U.K. invasion of their country."
The money is to go towards medical aid for the Iraqi people,
according to the JMA vice president. The JMA is also sending
a medical team to Baghdad.



9. (sbu) The Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJ) flight to Chicago
was canceled Monday due to low passenger load. Airline
officials report that, although the New York flight typically
carries a 60% load, flights from Europe and the Gulf are
currently running at about 20% of capacity. European
airlines continue to operate on a reduced schedule.


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


Refugee/Humanitarian Issues


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




10. (SBU) Embassy Refcoord is scheduled to travel with DART
team member April 1 to IOM's transit camp and UNHCR's still
vacant refugee camp near Ruwaished.



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


Press


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





11. (U) Front pages of all papers published March 31
continue to focus on developments in the war in Iraq. Major
reports highlight the effect of the suicide bombings, a
"division" in the Pentagon over the military operations, as
well as the continued Iraqi resistance and the continued
American and British bombing of Baghdad and Basra. A banner
headline in Al-Arab Al-Yawm reads "Four Thousand Arab
Would-Be Martyrs (suicide bombers) for Iraq." Covers of all
Jordan's dailies feature above-the-fold photographs of
civilian-area destruction or armed coalition forces searching
Iraqi civilians.



12. (U) Letter to King Abdullah: Al-Arab Al-Yawm was the
only daily to publish the letter sent to King Abudullah by 99
Jordanian personalities, including four former prime
ministers (two of them, Mudar Badran and Ahmad Obeidat,
former intelligence chiefs), one former parliamentary speaker
(Abdul Hadi Majali, who is also a former Chief of Staff and
former Ambassador to the US), and a number of former
ministers and members of parliament. The letter said that,
"Arab regimes are required to stand by Iraq in order to
defend their own legitimacy that is threatened by this
aggression." They also called on Jordan to "condemn this
imperialist, iniquitous aggression," and to "refuse to
recognize any political or legal consequences of this
aggression," as a "minimal stand, around which the Jordanian
people would rally."
GNEHM