Jordanians Appeal to Japan Not to Accept New Ambassador

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Lina Annab

Amman- (PanOrient News) The nomination of Lina Annab for the post of Jordan's ambassador to Japan faced a wave of protests in her home country, with many Jordanians appealing through local media and social media to Japan and its embassy in Amman to reject the appointment. Protesters from various groups said that Annab, the former minister of tourism and antiquities, was responsible for the incident of the school trip to the Dead Sea, which claimed 21 lives.

Wasfi al-Rawashdeh, a former Jordanian lawmaker, sent a letter to the Japanese ambassador to Jordan on the appointment of Annab, calling on him to ask his country not to accept her as ambassador.

"In respect of the feelings of the Jordanians and the bereaved families by the Dead Sea incident, which was the reason for her resignation as minister of tourism, Japan's acceptance of Annab as ambassador will have a negative impact on the image of Japan in the hearts of the Jordanians," said Al-Rawashdeh in a statement published by leading local newspapers in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Saddah Habashneh, a lawmaker from Karak Province, used his Facebook page to criticize Prime Minister Dr. Omar al-Razar's government on March 7, calling the decision to appoint Annab as ambassador to Japan "a provocation to the Jordanian people."

A member of the parliament's foreign affairs committee, lawmaker Raed Khaza'aleh, joined the offense against Annab saying is “not qualified to be an ambassador.”

A Jordanian doctor Adnan Abu Sidu, who lost his daughter in the Dead Sea incident, also reportedly sent a letter to the Japanese imperial household asking it "not to accept the appointment of Annab as my country's ambassador."

Annab is a businesswoman and politician who resigned amid criticism and accusations of negligence in the duty of her ministry after the Dead Sea incident, in which floods washed away a bus carrying students, teachers and tour guides on a school trip. The incident occurred on Oct. 25, 2018 and left 21 people dead and dozens more injured.

Japan has not yet commented publicly in response to this unusual situation. The appointment of ambassadors in Arab countries is generally a matter of course as personnel are rotated in the foreign ministries.

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