Jordan Information Minister: U.S. decision to reduce embassy staff – “temporary”
Amman - Bassam al Antari
The Jordanian Minister of Information, Mohammad Affash al Adwan told Albawaba.com that the recent US decision to allow inessential American diplomats in Jordan and their families to leave the kingdom was a temporary one. “The Jordanian government understands the motives behind the decision,” he added.
“This decision as you know is voluntary, temporary and preventive in nature,” said Adwan, indicating that the Americans reiterated their full confidence in the capability of the Jordanian government and its commitment to protecting the US citizens in Jordan.
“We in Jordan,” the minister added, “regret for such a step and consider that Jordan has been and would remain one of the most secure and stable countries in the world. We are proud to protect and ensure the safety of our foreign guests and our records are big evidence on that.”
“Yet, we understand the security concerns of the US government over the safety of its citizens whether in Jordan or elsewhere, particularly in view of the latest attacks which targeted Americans outside the US,” the minister conveyed.
On Friday, the US government announced that it would allow its non-essential diplomats and their families in Amman to leave Jordan. In addition to implementing the so called “authorized departure” program, under which emergency diplomats and the families of all US embassy employees in Jordan may leave at Washington’s expense, the State Department advised Americans to re-evaluate their plans to visit the kingdom.
The decision results from the overall assessment of the security situation following last month’s assassination of a USAID official, Lawrence Foley.
In the same context, Adwan acknowledged that Foley’s assassination had significant influence on the American move, reiterating Jordan’s understanding of the US security concerns and hoping the warning would be lifted in a month as the “Americans said.”
Adwan reiterated that there was no links between the U.S. diplomat’s killing and the bomb attack on the Arab Bank branch Saturday which resulted in minor damages, and no human casualties. “I am sure the attack on the Arab Bank is not linked with the assassination,” said Adwan. (Albawaba.com)