US Cancels Independence Day Celebrations in Brussels for Security Reasons

Published June 30th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The US embassy in Brussels decided to cancel street celebrations organized for US independence day July 4th for security reasons, the US State Department said Thursday. 

The decision was taken in light of an annual directive to US diplomats to evaluate security conditions before receptions and other celebrations of the national holiday, spokesman Philip Reeker said. 

Reeker said the decision to cancel celebrations was made in Brussels, but he did not detail the nature of the security concern or say whether the move was linked to the cancellation of festivities by the US embassy in Jordan due to terrorist threats. 

The spokesman stated that Brussels and Amman were the only embassies to make such decisions this year. 

The United States issued a warning Tuesday to US citizens around the world urging caution during the summer holidays, but did not specify particular countries or threats. 

The celebration planned for Brussels was to be held in a blocked-off street by three US diplomatic missions: the embassy to Belgium, the NATO mission, and the embassy to the European Union. 

"Given the particular security situation and the physical situation of that event, a decision was that this year they would not proceed with that, and they would instead have whatever customary, normal diplomatic event they have," he said. 

Reeker confirmed the decision of the US embassy in Jordan to cancel its reception, after a warning issued June 21 with information on terrorist activities in Amman -- WASHINGTON (AFP)  

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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