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Middle East

Protests held in Jordan ahead of Obama visit

Tens of protesters chant "USA go away" and "Obama go away" on eve of US president's visit.
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2013 10:36
Obama will be making his first visit to Jordan as president on Friday [Reuters]

Members of the Jordanian communist party have demonstrated against US President Barack Obama's visit to the region by staging a protest in front of the US embassy.

Tens of protesters on Thursday chanted slogans such as "USA go away" and "Obama go away".

Obama met Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jerusalem and West Bank during his first visit to the region as president.

"It is a protest, a massive protest against the policy of the United States," said Dr Munir Hamarneh from the Jordanian Communist Party.

"First of all, against their policy in Palestine, second, against their policy in the Arab countries. We believe that the United States is taking a stand which is against peace, democracy and against the real future of humanity."

The protesters then proceeded to burn the American flag at the protest.

Brotherhood weighs in

The Muslim Brotherhood was also skeptical about the visit.

The head of the group's political fraction, the Islamic Action Front, told the Reuters news agency that he did not expect any positive change from Obama's visit.

"There is a great frustration towards the American policies. During his first term, Obama spoke with rhetoric that convinced many, but experience has proven that Obama is dictated by American policy." said Mansour.

Lina Nafie, a protester, said: "This stand is just to pass a message to Obama that he has maybe the last chance, because this is his second round in the White House, to make just peace in Palestine."

In a speech in Jerusalem to the Israeli people earlier on Thursday, Obama said Israelis and Palestinians each had rights to peace, security and free movement that are not always respected.

He went on to say Palestinians had a right to self-determination and justice that had to be recognised.

On Friday he will be making his first trip to Jordan as president.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, developments in Syria, and Iran are Obama's main focus.

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Source:
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