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Britain Closes Embassy in Jordan

January 7, 2006

LONDON (AP) _ Britain indefinitely closed its embassy in Jordan Saturday because of the danger of a terrorist attack, the Foreign Office said.

A spokesman for the office would not comment on whether there had been a specific threat against the embassy in Amman, saying only that the closure was prompted by the security situation in Jordan.

The Foreign Office also updated its advice for Britons visiting the Middle Eastern country to say that ``terrorists may be in the final stages of planning attacks against Westerners and places frequented by Westerners.″

Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Judeh would not comment on the reasons for the embassy closure but told The Associated Press that Jordan’s security authorities had ``studied information on the threat and did not believe that it warranted closing down the British Embassy.″

``The Jordanian security apparatus provides the required protection to foreign embassies without any threat and in the event of a threat, steps up protection,″ Judeh said. ``Britain took this decision. Jordan believes that the threat does not warrant closure of the British Embassy.″

Britain’s Foreign Office did not warn against traveling to Jordan, but noted in its updated advice that ``there have been a number of successful and attempted terrorist attacks in Jordan since 2001.″

It specifically mentioned hotel bombings that killed 60 people in Amman in November, and said Jordanian security forces remained on alert.

``If you are planning to travel to Jordan, you should take sensible precautions for your personal security arrangements throughout your visit,″ the advice warned. ``Developments in the region could affect the security situation.

A Foreign Office spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government policy, said he did not know when the embassy would reopen.

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