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Archive for Jordan

Newsline: Jordanians demand closure of US embassy in Amman

Hundreds of Jordanians have demonstrated in front of the US embassy in Amman, demanding its closure and the expulsion of the US charge d’affaires from Jordan in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. President Donald Trump issued a statement on Wednesday proclaiming the US decision and preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Jordanian parliamentary political blocs, Islamist movements and independents had called for protests on Friday across Jordanian cities and in front of the US embassy in Amman in protest of the US decision. The US embassy in Amman issued a statement on Thursday suspending public services and limiting the public movement of its staff.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/jordanians-demand-closure-embassy-amman-171207170857947.html

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Newsline: US embassies are bracing for ‘potentially violent’ backlash over Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Several US embassies across the Middle East have warned of potentially violent protests in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The alert comes as Palestinian leaders encouraged worldwide demonstrations and called for Palestinians to engage in “three days of rage.” The US embassy in Jordan published a security warning telling US citizens that Trump’s decision may spark protests which “have the potential to become violent.” The statement urged US citizens to avoid large gatherings and to maintain a “high-level of vigilance” as tensions rise in the region. The embassy, located in Jordan’s capital Amman, also temporarily suspended public services, and instructed US personnel to keep a “low profile.” All embassy travel outside of Amman was temporarily suspended, and children of US officials were instructed not to attend school on Thursday. In Turkey, the US embassy in Ankara stated that it was aware of plans by several groups to stage public protests, and urged US citizens to avoid areas of large gatherings, particularly around US outposts in Ankara, Istanbul and Adana. The US embassy in Egypt said that Trump’s announcement has “generated significant media attention,” and Americans in the country are urged to stay vigilant. The US State Department has warned US embassies across the globe to increase security. US Marine units are on call if added security is needed in capitals across the world, the publication Marine Times said.

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-embassies-bracing-for-violent-backlash-over-trumps-jerusalem-decision-2017-12

Newsline: Israel’s embassy in Jordan can’t reopen before legal action against guard

Jordan will not allow Israel to reopen its embassy in Amman until it has launched legal proceedings against an Israeli security guard who shot dead two Jordanian citizens in July, a Jordanian diplomatic source said on Thursday. Israel must also be able to assure its Arab neighbor that “justice has been served” in the case, the senior source said, asking not to be named. The embassy was closed shortly after Israel hastily repatriated the guard under diplomatic immunity to prevent Jordanian authorities from interrogating him and taking any legal action against him. The Israeli ambassador and embassy staff were pulled out. Israeli sources said on Wednesday they were planning to replace Ambassador Einat Schlein at the Amman embassy in an effort to improve ties. However they did not address the long-standing Jordanian demand to take legal action against the security guard. “They can look for a new ambassador but that ambassador will not be welcome in Jordan until a due legal process takes its course and justice is served,” the diplomatic source said. “Our position remains solid in Jordan.. The embassy will not reopen until these conditions are met… which is the position we took from the very beginning,” he added. “The guard enjoyed immunity and not impunity under Vienna conventions,” the source said, referring to the Vienna Convention that specifies privileges given to diplomats. “Jordan acted in compliance with its obligation under international law and Israel has to do the same,” the source said. Jordanian officials have treated the shooting as a criminal case and say the two unarmed Jordanians, one a bystander and the other a teenage workman, were killed in cold blood by the armed guard. Israel has said it is highly unlikely it would prosecute the security guard but has hinted at financial compensation to the family of one of the dead Jordanians.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-jordan-israel-diplomacy/israels-embassy-in-jordan-cant-reopen-before-legal-action-against-guard-source-idUSKBN1DU23V

Newsline: Israel to Appoint New Ambassador to Jordan in Bid to Salvage Ties

Israel plans to appoint a new ambassador to Jordan in a bid to calm Amman’s anger over the current envoy’s handling of a shooting by an embassy guard in July that has strained relations, an Israeli diplomatic source said. But Israel has shown no sign of meeting Jordan’s demand that it launch criminal proceedings against the guard, who killed two Jordanians in what he called self-defense. He was repatriated along with Ambassador Einat Schlein a day after the incident. Sources within the Foreign Ministry confirmed that Schlein has begun looking for a new position in the ministry following the diplomatic crisis. Her name appeared on a list of candidates for a senior position this past summer. While an Israeli diplomatic source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Schlein would not return, the Foreign Ministry refused to comment officially on the possibility of replacing Schlein. Jordanian authorities say they suspect the shooting was unprovoked but could not investigate the guard due to his diplomatic immunity. A televised welcome he and Schlein received from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outraged Amman. Since Schlein’s departure on July 24 the embassy has been shuttered, casting a pall over Israel’s ties with Jordan, a U.S.-backed regional security partner and one of only two Arab countries that recognize Israel.

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/jordan/1.825686

Newsline: Jordan Holds Firm On Refusal To Reopen Israeli Embassy

Jordan will not allow the reopening of the Israeli embassy in Amman or the return of Israel’s ambassador unless the Israeli security guard involved in the killing of two Jordanians in July is brought to trial, a Jordanian government minister said Thursday. Jordanian Media Affairs Minister Mohammed Momani issued a press release to this effect, in which he added that Jordan’s position on the issue was very firm. Saleh al-Armouti, a Jordanian member of Parliament, told The Media Line that Israeli ambassador Einat Schlein is unwelcome in Amman because she “accompanied the murderer,” security guard Ziv Moyal, back to Israel. The appropriate response to the entire incident, according to al-Armouti, would be for Jordan to “close the embassy and cut ties with Israel for good. “The security guard doesn’t have diplomatic immunity,” said al-Armouti. On July 23 Moyal was reportedly attacked with a screwdriver by teenager Mohammed Jawawdeh, who had been delivering furniture to Moyal’s landlord. Moyal then opened fire, killing Jawawdeh along with the building’s owner. The incident prompted widespread condemnation from Jordanian citizens, who held mass demonstrations including outside the Israeli embassy, where protesters chanted “Death to Israel.” Moyal and Israeli embassy staff were allowed to return to Israel a day after the incident following diplomatic pressure from the Israeli government and the US. A subsequent investigation by Israel’s Shin Bet concluded that Moyal acted in self-defense and thus there were no grounds to prosecute him.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Jordan-Holds-Firm-On-Refusal-To-Reopen-Israeli-Embassy-514794

Newsline: British embassy cat in Jordan appointed chief mouser

At the British embassy to Jordan, a former rescue cat is settling into his new position as chief mouser – as a traditional well established in the ministries of London goes global. “Lawrence of Abdoun” is a fluffy black-and-white tom who, according to his Twitter feed, reports directly to the Foreign Office’s Palmerston, a cat that delights his 57,000 followers with regular updates from the ministry in Whitehall via @DiploMog. Lawrence, named after T.E. Lawrence, a British military officer who fought alongside Arabs against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, has already gained 2,500 followers since being adopted from an animal shelter last month. Abdoun is the neighbourhood of Amaan where the embassy is located. “Apart from his mousing duties, he reaches out to followers on Twitter. What’s quite interesting is the British public are seeing the U.K embassy in Jordan in a different light,” said Deputy Ambassador Laura Dauban. Tweeting under the name @LawrenceDipCat, Lawrence has discovered the perils of social media, and has even been fat-shamed by trolls.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-jordan-cat/british-embassy-cat-in-jordan-appointed-chief-mouser-idUKKBN1DK22H

Newsline: Israel reportedly threatens to shelve Jordan water deal until embassy reopened

Israel has reportedly told Jordan that a joint agreement for the construction of a pipeline transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea will not go ahead until Israel is allowed to reopen its embassy in Amman. In an escalating war of words and threats, senior officials in Jerusalem told Channel 10 that Israel notified Jordan that the water project will not move forward until Ambassador Einat Schlein and her staff are permitted to return to their posts. Two weeks ago Jordan said it would not allow the embassy to reopen until an embassy guard who shot dead two Jordanian nationals was brought to trial. The incident has put a damper on the so-called Red-Dead project. Several weeks ago Israel and Jordan were to have finalized the details before calling for tenders from international companies to do the work. Without an embassy, the Jordanians reportedly wanted to continue the discussions by phone, but Israel has insisted on face to face meetings, which won’t happen until the embassy is reopened. That message was reportedly conveyed to Jordan several weeks ago. In response, Jordan has reportedly threatened to continue with the project alone. Several articles in Jordanian media have cited officials saying that they do not need Israel for the pipeline, and even raising the possibility of bringing in Saudi Arabia to partner with them instead. The $10 billion project, which some see as an early stage in a regional peace deal, would see the construction of a 220-kilometer (137-mile) pipeline transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea — the lowest body of water on earth — to benefit Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians, and replenish the dwindling Dead Sea.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-reportedly-threatens-to-shelve-jordan-water-deal-until-embassy-reopened/