Jordan. The government was reformed on January 14 after
adopting a new budget, designed to boost the economy. Prime
Minister Ali Abu Raghib stayed in the post and appointed US
Ambassador Marwan Muashir as Foreign Minister. King Abdullah
announced on August 15 that the election that would have
been held in September was postponed to spring 2003. He
referred to "difficult regional conditions", which were
interpreted as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the
threat of an attack on Iraq. Originally, the election would
have been held in November 2001.
Countryaah website, the town of Maan in southern Jordan was shaken by unrest
during the year. Kravaller broke out in January after a
17-year-old boy died in police custody. In November, the
army entered the city and arrested more than 130 people,
many said to be militant Islamists. Five people, including
two police officers, were killed in firefights and curfews
prevailed for a time. The city, which has about 40,000
residents, many of whom live in great poverty, has
previously been shaken by bread riots. Maan is an Islamic
stronghold and demonstrations in support of Iraq's leader
Saddam Hussein have taken place.
Iraq promised November 22 to continue supplying oil to Jordan.
The countries also agreed on trade exchanges. Jordan's Foreign
Minister Muashir had declared in July that J. would not
allow bases to the United States for possible attacks
The Qatar-based TV channel al-Jazira was banned from
operating in the country on August 7 since it aired a
program that was considered to be forging Jordan's royal house. Jordan also called his Qatar Ambassador home. The freedom of the
press and demonstration rights in Jordan has been restricted in
the past year.
Several cases of so-called honor killings were reported,
despite a tightening of the law at the end of 2001. Another
notable case involved Tujan Faysal, formerly Jordan's first
female MP. She was jailed in March and sentenced in May to
18 months in prison for slander after accusing government
members of corruption. She was pardoned by the king in June.
Jordan rejected the chairmanship of the Alliance-Free
Movement in mid-April, citing the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. Malaysia took over the assignment. Nor did King
Abdullah visit the Arab League summit in Lebanon at the end
In July, it was announced that ten people who planned to
attack Israeli and American targets in Jordan were arrested in
the spring. But on October 28, an American diplomat was
murdered in the capital Amman. No group took on the deed,
which was the first of its kind. The United States sent some
Israel and Jordan announced in September that they would work
together to prevent the Dead Sea from drying out due to
water diverting from the Jordan River. The project was
estimated to cost $ 800 million.
In mid-December, authorities arrested two alleged members
of the al-Qaeda terror network, identified as participating
in the assassination of an American diplomat on October 28.