France says worried by Jordan anti-AFP demos

28th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

France expressed concern Thursday at angry demonstrations against the Agence France-Presse news agency in Jordan and welcomed the Amman government's support.

"Over recent days, the bureau and staff of Agence France-Presse in Amman have been the target of aggressive demonstrations that have raised our concern," said foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.

Jordan's Interior Minister Mazen Saket said the government will not tolerate threats or attacks against diplomatic missions or news agencies after the latest demonstration against AFP in the capital on Wednesday.

"We see the Jordanian interior minister's declaration as a positive thing," Valero said.

Around 100 people demonstrated Wednesday outside the French embassy in Amman, demanding the resignation of AFP bureau chief Randa Habib.

It was the fifth demonstration against AFP in protest at its report in June that King Abdullah II's motorcade had been attacked -- which has been vigorously denied by the palace, government officials and lawmakers.

On June 15, 10 men attacked AFP's offices in Amman, destroying windows, furniture and equipment. The assault was denounced by the government, MPs, journalists and activists.

© 2011 AFP

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