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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03AMMAN2159
2003-04-09 14:52:00
SECRET
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 32 (4/09 1730 LOCAL)

Tags:   AEMR  AMGT  PREL  ASEC  CASC  CVIS  EFIN  ETRD  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.
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 002159 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2013
TAGS: AEMR AMGT PREL ASEC CASC CVIS EFIN ETRD IZ JO
SUBJECT: TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 32 (4/09 1730 LOCAL)

REF: AMMAN 2137

Classified By: DCM Gregory L. Berry for reasons 1.5 (B)(D).

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

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 002159

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2013
TAGS: AEMR AMGT PREL ASEC CASC CVIS EFIN ETRD IZ JO
SUBJECT: TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 32 (4/09 1730 LOCAL)

REF: AMMAN 2137

Classified By: DCM Gregory L. Berry for reasons 1.5 (B)(D).

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


1. (C) At approximately 2245 April 8, an Embassy TDYer was
shot at and slightly injured by unknown assailants near the
Le Royal Hotel in Amman. Immediately following this incident
the Embassy issued a phone tree message to both American and
Jordanian staff notifying them of what had occurred and
encouraging them to alter arrival times and routes to work
for April 9. At 0900 on April 9, the Ambassador convoked the
EAC where the details of what is known of the incident were
discussed (details reftel). At 1400, the Embassy issued a
warden message to the American community concerning the
incident and at 1500 the Ambassador convoked a town hall
meeting for all American employees.


2. (C) This local story is receiving some press attention
despite a tumultuous 24 hours that has included both the
tragic killing of Jordanian journalist and al-Jazeera
correspondent Tareq Ayyoub, and the emerging scenes from
Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq of cheering and looting crowds.
A sense of shock, confusion and mixed emotions at all these
events appears to characterize the prevailing mood of many
Jordanians at the moment.

--------------
Consular Issues
--------------


3. (U) No new issues.

--------------
GOJ Actions/Statements
--------------


4. (U) Minister of Information Mohammed al-Adwan issued a
statement April 8 voicing his "strong condemnation for such
(military) acts which result in numerous casualties among
innocent civilians." Adwan mourned Jordanian correspondent
Tareq Ayyoub "who fell (as a) martyr while covering the war
on Iraq for (the) Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel."




5. (U) The Jordan Times reported that King Abdullah, in an
April 8 meeting with Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb and
representatives of economic segments "affirmed that efforts
and contacts with the Arab and friendly countries will
continue in order to stop the war on Iraq and ensure the
delivery of assistance as soon as possible." The King went
on to "stress the importance of cooperation between the
public and private sectors in the country at this stage to
overcome the ramifications of war on Jordanian economic
sectors, particularly tourism, transport and industry." In
the same meeting, the paper reported that PM Abul Ragheb
"stressed the strength of the national economy and his
confidence in its ability to overcome this stage."


--------------
Security
--------------


6. (U) Details of shooting incident described in para 1 are
reported reftel.

--------------
Economic and Trade Developments
--------------


7. (U) Jordanian border officials tell us that normal
operations resumed at the Sheikh Hussein bridge as of April
7, ending a multi-day closure caused by work stoppages on the
part of Israeli customs officers.


8. (C) Irbid Chamber of Industry Chairman Maher al-Nasser
visited April 8 to voice concern over the exposure faced by
Jordanian companies trading under the Oil For Food program
and the bilateral oil and trade protocol with Iraq. Nasser
said a number of companies are facing difficulties receiving
payments for contracts signed with Saddam Hussein's
government. Others were unable to deliver contracted goods
and thus could not present a delivery receipt to claim
payment from Jordan's Central Bank under the terms of the
protocol. Nasser was quoted in the local press as saying
Irbid companies are facing JD 25 million (USD 35 million) in
losses as a result of these outstanding contracts. He added
to us that many of these companies are already being squeezed
by local banks to pay for inputs for the contracted goods,
which were purchased earlier in the year on credit.

--------------
Refugee/Humanitarian Issues
--------------


9. (U) The Jordan-Iraq border remains open. 27 TCNs crossed
into Jordan from Iraq overnight (April 8-9), while one person
with document problems remains in no-man's land at the
border. No Iraqi refugees entered Jordan overnight.


10. (S) Coalition sources confirm that flying checkpoints
have been established along Hwy 10 (the Baghdad-Amman
highway) inside Iraqi territory. All east-bound vehicle
traffic except previously cleared humanitarian assistance
convoys are being turned back.

--------------
Press
--------------


11. (U) CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera and other networks are showing
scenes of jubilation in Baghdad neighborhoods mid-day April
9, with reports of most if not all organized resistance from
Saddam elements either gone or melting away. It is too early
to get a sense of how Jordanians will react, but preliminary
indications are that many are simply relieved that the war
appears to be nearing its end without the huge civilian
casualties that many expected. Earlier in the day, the April
8 death of a number of journalists -- and in particular
Jordanian al-Jazeera correspondent Tareq Ayoub -- dominated
both the local media and talk among ordinary Jordanians.
Many Jordanians believe that the Arab satellite stations and
other non-embedded journalists were deliberately targeted by
U.S. forces. Once again we find our Arab friends distorting
facts to correspond to what they want to believe.

GNEHM