Dutch envoy’s remarks over press freedom in Jordan outrages Amman, Abu Dhabi
Jordan claims the Dutch ambassador “interfered” in a broadcast license application that is reportedly still under legal consideration
By News Desk - October 21 2022

(Photo Credit: AP)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE summoned the Dutch ambassador to Abu Dhabi on 21 October in condemnation of the comments made by the Dutch ambassador to Amman about media freedom in the kingdom.

Jordan rejected the statements made by the Dutch envoy Harry Verweij, with Amman claiming the ambassador “interfered” in a broadcast license application that is reportedly still under legal consideration.

The Dutch delegate said in a tweet: “An opp to discuss issues of common concern, incl the media scene in Jordan. Stressed our strong bilateral relationship, and I shared our concerns on Jordan’s declining international ranking on freedom of speech.”

In response to the envoy’s remarks, the UAE denounced Verweij, further expressing that the “irresponsible statement” breaches diplomatic norms between Amsterdam and Amman.

Jordan ranks 129th out of 180 nations in press freedom, slipping one place in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, according to Jordanian media sources.

A few days prior, UAE officials summoned the acting head of the EU delegation to the UAE to demand an explanation over the racist comments made by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell last week.

The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation described Borrell’s comments as racist and said they contributed to a worsening climate of intolerance and discrimination worldwide.

“Europe is a garden. We have built a garden … The rest of the world [is] not exactly a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden,” Borrell said during a speech in Belgium last week.

The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, received a phone call from EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell following his racist remarks a day later.

During the phone conversation, the two head officials discussed the importance of promoting the values ​​of tolerance, pluralism, respect, and ensuring peaceful coexistence in the world, according to the Emirates News Agency.

Others have said Borrell’s speech reflected long-outdated views of European supremacy over the ‘uncivilized’ world. His words also ignore the long history of colonialism that allowed countries in the west to develop at the expense of the Global South.

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