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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03AMMAN1983
2003-04-02 15:49:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 25 (4/02 2000 LOCAL)

Tags:   AEMR  AMGT  PREL  ASEC  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 001983 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/02/2013
TAGS: AEMR AMGT PREL ASEC CASC CVIS EFIN ETRD IZ JO
SUBJECT: TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 25 (4/02 2000 LOCAL)

REF: A. (A) AMMAN 1954


B. (B) AMMAN 1981

Classified By: Pol Couns Doug Silliman for reasons 1.5 (B)(D).

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



1. (C) The Embassy operated on a normal schedule 2 April.
Consular services were open. Activities at the American
Language Center remain suspended, and there was only
restricted activity by FSN's at the Peace Corps office.
Movements of American staff remain restricted.



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


Consular Issues


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





2. (U) No new issues.



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


GOJ Actions/Statements


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





3. (U) No new issues.



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


Security


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





4. (U) No new issues.



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


Economic and Trade Developments


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





5. (C) Rumors in the QIZ community allege that a closure of
the northern border crossing with Israel (Shaykh Hussain
Bridge) that began 4 days ago is related to war with Iraq.
The Embassy verified with authorities at the bridge, the
Trade Ministry, and freight forwarders that the closure is
not/not security related, but is instead the result of
strikes by government workers in Israel. We have been in
contact with Trade Ministry officials about this issue, and
they will be contacting QIZ exporters and park managers to
assure them that the closures are not related in any way to
the war. Trade Ministry officials caution, though, that
their Israeli counterparts predicted the strikes could
continue for some time, which would negatively impact QIZ
operations in any case.



6. (SBU) Although volume was heavy on the Amman Stock
Exchange Wednesday, the index closed down slightly by .33%.




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


Refugee/Humanitarian Issues


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





7. (U) The Jordan-Iraq border remains open. IOM reports
that a total of 7 TCNs arrived from Iraq on April 1; there
have been no TCN arrivals since 1200 am today, April 2. One
person with document problems currently is being held in
no-man's land at the border. No sign of Iraqi
refugees/asylum seekers. UNHCR reports that khamseen winds
are stirring up some sandstorms in Ruweished.



8. (U) IOM reports that current TCN transit camp population
is 279, including 66 children under the age of five. Roughly
100 camp residents are likely to remain in Ruweished
indefinitely. This group includes the Somalis & Sudanese who
have said they don't want to return to their countries of

origin but have been found not to meet UNHCR criteria for
refugee status, as well as the 18 stateless Palestinians.
IOM is working with the Jordan Red Crescent Society and NGOs
to revise camp management procedures to accommodate this
group of long-term residents. IOM is repatriating TCNs in
"dribs and drabs" on commercial flights from Amman.



9. (U) IOM/Amman confirmed that the number of total TCN
arrivals reported by IOM/Cyprus is inaccurate, as it includes
the thousands of Jordanian students who have returned from
their studies in Iraq. According to IOM/Amman, total TCN
arrivals in Jordan since the onset of hostilities is 712,
with 444 TCNs already repatriated.



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


Press


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





10. (U) Once again, Jordanian dailies led with reports and
photos of the progress of the war. The anti-war sentiment
continues to manifest itself through photos of civilians
killed, including children and infants. A photo showed a man
who "lost 15 members of his family." Al-Rai's headline read
that the King called for an immediate stop to the war.
Headlines and captions talked of "massacres" and called to
"save Iraqi children."



11. (U) In response to the letter by 99 personalities (ref
A), Al-Arab Al-Yawm carried a counter letter signed by 104
personalities, expressing their total satisfaction with the
King's leadership (ref B). This theme also occurred in the
commentaries of a number of writers in Al-Rai and Al-Dustour.
Nevertheless, two editorialists, Mahmoud Al-Rimawi in Al-Rai
and Fahed Al-Khitan in Al-Arab Al-Yawm wrote that the
original letter contained an accurate appraisal of the
situation, which should not be "overlooked by the decision
maker."



12. (U) Al-Dustour reported that more than 350 Jordanian
factories have refused to deal with the amendment made to the
"oil for food" program, which takes away the authority to
manage the program from the hands of the Iraqi government and
gives it to the United Nations. According to the press
report, representatives of the factories conveyed this stand
to the Iraqi Ambassador in Amman, stressing that they will
not sign any contracts to export to Iraq based on the
mechanism unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council a
few days ago. An Iraqi diplomatic source told the paper that
there are important ongoing contacts between Amman and
Baghdad to prevent the implementation of this amendment.
Al-Dustour also reported that Jordan and Iraq are looking
into the possibility of transferring a big chunk of the
contracts for Jordanian companies signed under the "oil for
food" memorandum of understanding and making them part of the
Jordanian-Iraqi trade protocol.

GNEHM