CNN BREAKING NEWS
U.S. Diplomat Gunned Down in Amman, Jordan
Aired October 28, 2002 - 06:02 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Let's get right to that breaking news -- the assassination of that U.S. diplomat in Amman, Jordan.
We understand a masked gunman waited for Lawrence Foley to leave his home before pulling a gun and firing several shots into him. Foley worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Shortly after the killing, we asked Jordan's minister of information what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had waited for the diplomat around his house when he was leaving his house to go to the embassy apparently, and he shot him several times. He had his face covered, and I believe the wife of the diplomat informed the authorities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: The U.S. Embassy in Jordan released this statement. I'm quoting here: "All of us in the American community convey our condolences to the Foley family on the death of such a warm and loving man. We are outraged by this incomprehensible act."
We want to go to neighboring Iraq now. Our Baghdad bureau chief Jane Arraf joins us.
Jane -- what's the mood in the region with the U.N. Security Council so close to a vote, and does this have anything to do with the shooting in Jordan?
JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: Well, the mood, Carol, is pretty apprehensive, as you might expect, given that this declaration -- the resolution, rather, at the U.N. is being called a pretext for war and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a declaration of war against Iraq and the United Nations.
Now, the shooting itself, of course, doesn't seem to be directly linked to anything at all at this point. Iraq, ironically seen by the Western diplomats who are here, not Americans, but many Western Europeans is one of the safest places to be, because the government does have such an iron grip here.
Other places in the region, such as Jordan, are quite a bit more tense, Jordan, having a peace with Israel and a close ally of the United States, is a target for many people with somewhat extremist views. Now, in the region, the feeling is that this resolution is gearing up to something that could be even more (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The foreign minister, Naji Sabri, has called the declaration a pretext for a raging war against Iraq.
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NAJI SABRI, IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER: It calls for dealing with Iraq as an occupied territory, as a country with no government, with no sovereignty. It tries to deal with the Iraqi people as a people under the tutelage and the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of colonial power. It is, in a few words, a declaration to colonize Iraq in the name of the United Nations, which is an insult -- a big insult to the international community, a big insult to the United Nations itself.
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ARRAF: One of the main problems is that resolution, if passed, would actually station some foreign troops here to protect weapons inspectors -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Jane, I wanted to ask you about this, too. Iraq is supposedly throwing you guys out soon. What's the latest on that?
ARRAF: Well, they dispute that we're being expelled, but in fact I have been asked to leave, and I've been asked to leave by midnight today. Some of my other colleagues have been asked to leave tomorrow when their visas expire.
Now, we've had a permanent bureau, as you know, Carol, here for -- in its present from for the last five years. So, it does come as a bit of a shock.
Now, the government says this is along the lines of streamlining its procedures for journalists, but it does certainly reduce our presence here temporarily.
I'm told that I can return, and hopefully, my colleagues can return, but it does come against the backdrop of increasing pressure by the government here protesting against our presence in northern Iraq -- Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. They say that that's an illegal presence, as are all of the other news correspondents and news organizations that are operating there.
We've maintained that we have to cover northern Iraq, as well as Baghdad, and those places are extremely important -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, and we're not going to change our coverage, because of pressure from the Iraqi government.
Jane Arraf, you stay safe. Thank you.
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