Cablegate: Chicken in Transit to Iraq Via Jordan

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

211437Z Sep 03





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Chicken in Transit to Iraq via Jordan



1. (SBU) Post would appreciate urgent guidance on the
following two diplomatic notes from the Jordanian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They request guidance from
appropriate Iraqi authorities on how to deal with a
consignment of frozen chicken being shipped to Iraq from
Saudi Arabia across Jordanian territory. Jordanian
officials are currently holding the shipment, which does
not have a valid health certificate (according to
Jordanian procedures), at the al-Omari border crossing
between Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

2. (sbu) Given the questionable health safety of the
chicken, the Jordanian government would prefer to deny it
passage through Jordan so as to protect Iraqi consumers.
As explained in reftel, Jordan feels that it has a moral
obligation to prevent unsafe food from reaching Iraq, but
does not have a legal mechanism for doing so. The GOJ
feels it would be in a stronger legal position with the
shippers if they can say they are acting at the request
of the Iraqi government.


Number :MK/2/14/1393
Date: 9/14/2003

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan's Ministry of Foreign
Affairs presents its compliments to the Embassy of the
United State of America in Amman and wishes to inform the
Embassy that a consignment of frozen chicken of Brazilian
origin is currently being held at the Al-Omari border
(Jordanian/Saudi border). The consignment has been
stored for many months in Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. and is
not accompanied by a health certificate to prove that it
is free from epidemic contagious diseases. The owners of
this consignment are requesting to transport it through
transit to Iraq.

The Ministry wishes to inform the Embassy that the
concerned authorities in Jordan would like to know the
opinion of the concerned Iraqi authorities whether to
accept or reject this consignment.

Number :MK/2/14/1421
Date: 9/15/2003

With reference to the Ministry's note No. MK/2/14/1393
dated September 14 2003, the Ministry wishes to inform
the Embassy that the certificate of origin that
accompanies the mentioned consignment was issued by the
Islamic Da'wa Center in Brazil on November 8, 2002. The
consignment arrived in Saudi Arabia on February 19, 2003,
according to the stamp of the Saudi Arabia Chamber of

The procedures followed in Jordan state that the health
certificate to accompany the consignment to prove
shipment validity should be issued a month before
shipment arrival to the Jordanian borders.

The Ministry greatly appreciates if the Embassy informs
the Ministry, as soon as possible, if the Iraqi
Authorities do accept the entry of the shipment via
Jordan without the mentioned health certificate,
otherwise the Jordanian Authorities will reject to
transit the said shipment via its borders.

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