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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04AMMAN1872 2004-03-11 13:22:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

JORDAN WELCOMES SIGNING OF IRAQ'S INTERIM

Tags:   PGOV PHUM PREL JO 
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1. (SBU) Summary. The GOJ welcomed the IGC's signing of an
interim constitution as a "step forward" that contributed to
rebuilding Iraq's national institutions. Press reports were
positive with many calling the interim constitution's signing
a reassuring and positive step. Embassy contacts were
optimistic yet held reservations on certain components of the
document. End Summary.

GOJ REACTION


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





2. (U) Government spokesperson Asma Khader told the press
March 9 that the Iraqi Governing Council's signing of an
interim constitution was a "step forward" that would help
Iraqis recover their sovereignty and preserve their unity.
She emphasized that it was a step forward because it was
decided by the Iraqi people and their authorities and
consequently would help them recover their responsibilities
and authority and contribute to the rebuilding of Iraq's
national institutions.

IN THE NEWS...


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





3. (U) The signing of Iraq's interim constitution was front
page news in most of Jordan's dailies March 9. Daily
columnist Jamil al-Nimri of the independent, mass-appeal
Arabic daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm wrote March 9 that the interim
constitution, whatever one's opinion of it is, was a
reassuring sign in a country mired by opposing forces from
within and outside Iraq bent on stopping any forward
political movement. Center-left, influential Arabic daily
Al-Dustour March 9 editorialized the signing as "a
particularly important event" and "an important step
forward."

EMBASSY CONTACTS HOPEFUL -- WITH RESERVATIONS


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





4. (C) Former senator Husni Ayesh told us he had read the
text of the constitution and hailed its handling of human
rights issues. Dr. Fawzi Samhouri, a human rights activist,
said he was against giving the Kurds veto power over a
permanent constitution if not in harmony with their demands
and referring to Shiites as a sect rather than as ordinary
citizens. He warned that treating the Shiites as a sect did
not bode well for the future of Iraq.

COMMENT


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





5. (SBU) Most Jordanians want the experiment in Iraq to
succeed and welcomed the signing of the interim constitution
as a sign of forward movement. The few reservations we heard
dealt mainly with specific issues within the document, not
its legitimacy. End Comment.



6. Baghdad minimize considered.

Please visit Embassy Amman's classified website at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/amman or through the
Department of State's SIPRNET site.
HALE