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Cablegate: Country Clearance Granted for Visit Of

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

150609Z Aug 04

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 006794

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA EFIN JO IZ
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED FOR VISIT OF
STATE/TREASURY/CEA TEAM TO AMMAN

REF: STATE 175411

1. Embassy Amman grants country clearance for and warmly
welcomes the visit of CEA William Block, EB/IFD/OMA Daniel
Peters, and four officials from the Department of Treasury to
travel to Amman August 15-20 for consultations with Iraqi
officials.

2. Your control officer for this visit will be James Flowers
(962-6-590-6559; Mobile 962-79-522-0808; FAX
962-6-592-7653). The Embassy's after-hours telephone number
is 962-6-590-6500. Embassy will provide expeditor services
and transportation from and to the airport for all delegation
members.

3. Valid visas are required for entry into Jordan. Visas
may be obtained at Queen Alia airport; however, Embassy
suggests visitors obtain their visas prior to arrival, as
there can be long lines for visa issuance at the airport.
Money can be exchanged at Queen Alia airport.

4. Each visitor, regardless of length of stay, must have
fiscal data to pay for direct costs of the visit. Each
agency, organization or visiting delegation will be charged
for the actual costs attributed to the visit. Direct charge
costs include, but are not limited to: American and LES
overtime (for such services as airport expediting, cashier
accommodation exchange, control room staffing,
representational event support), travel and per diem costs
incurred by post personnel in support of visitor's field
travel, rental of vehicles and other equipment, long distance
telephone calls, office supplies, gasoline and other vehicle
maintenance costs, departure tax and other airport fees.

5. Threat assessment:

Since late 1999, there has been a series of serious,
confirmed terrorist threats and disrupted terrorist plots
targeting U.S. interests in Jordan. In April 2004, Jordanian
authorities disrupted a plan to attack U.S. Embassy and
Jordanian leadership sites with explosive-laden vehicles.
Anti-western sentiment, though less pronounced since the end
of the Gulf War, has been sparked on occasion by incidents
within the region, particularly those related to
Israeli/Palestinian issues and to a lesser extent Iraq.
Warden messages disseminated in January and March 2004,
alerted Americans to potential terrorist targeting of U.S.
interests in Jordan, including hotels.

Recent incidents in Jordan remind us of the ability of
transnational terrorist groups, as well as less sophisticated
local elements, to target Americans and Western interests in
Jordan. In September 2003 13 individuals were arrested for
plotting attacks against U.S. and Jordanian targets,
including the U.S. Embassy in Amman. In May 2003, three
individuals connected to the Zarqawi network were arrested
for planning attacks against foreigners and tourist
locations. The October 28, 2002 assassination of a U.S.
diplomat in Amman outside his residence was ultimately linked
to al-Qaeda. Jordanian authorities arrested the assassins in
December 2002. In October 2002, Americans in Jordan were
informed of a potential kidnapping plot by al-Qaeda. In
December 1999, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda was arrested
in Jordan. This group was in the late planning stages of
attacks against western hotels and tourist sites. The most
recent published terrorist alerts have stated that extremist
groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S.
interests worldwide.

Crime is generally not a serious problem for travelers in
Jordan, although petty theft is somewhat common in the
downtown Amman Hashimiyah Square area and near the Roman
amphitheater. In the narrow streets of the old city and at
some of the more popular tourist sites, crowded conditions
invite pickpockets/purse snatchers and other petty criminals.
Travelers should be more guarded in these areas and not
present easy opportunities to criminals.

6. Travel guidelines:

American citizens and official visitors traveling in Jordan
should exercise caution, be alert and stay informed of
regional and local events that could quickly impact the
security environment in the country. Travelers should avoid
large crowds and demonstrations and take measures to avoid
areas where they are most likely to occur (city centers,
universities, refugee camps), particularly during periods of
increased tension. It is also recommended to maintain a low
profile and not establish predictable patterns of movement,
even if only visiting for a short period. Recent worldwide
announcements continue to alert American travelers that
terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian
targets. Therefore facilities where Americans or foreigners
are likely to congregate such as hotels, nightspots, and
restaurants should be considered as potential targets.
Travelers should remain in a higher state of alert when
attendance at such locations is necessary. Taxis are the
only form of public transportation that is recommended.

As Jordan is an Islamic country, cultural sensitivities
should be observed. Female travelers should dress
conservatively and not travel alone, particularly in areas
not as accustomed to western visitors. Incidents of sexual
harassment, assault and unwelcome advances of a sexual nature
against western visitors and residents, although not
frequent, have been reported. These incidents, while
troubling, have not been pervasive.

7. Other:

For further information, see the State Department's Consular
Information Sheet for Jordan at
http://travel.state.gov/jordan.html and link from that site
to the most recent Public Announcement on Travel in the
Middle East and South Asia and the most recent Worldwide
Caution.
HALE

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