Dutch envoy Harry Verweij’s comment came during a meeting with Jordan’s minister of information affairs. Image Credit: Twitter

Amman/Abu Dhabi: Jordan has criticised the Dutch ambassador over his comments about country’s media licensing policy and freedom of speech ranking.

Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in a statement rejected Dutch envoy Harry Verweij’s comment during a meeting with Jordan’s minister of information affairs.

The statement claimed that the Dutch ambassador interfered in the process of a broadcast licence application that is still under legal consideration, and that the applicant is neither Dutch nor Jordanian.

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, & I shared our concerns on Jordan’s declining international ranking on freedom of speech.”

His comments included the licensing of a local radio station and who ran it, according to the ministry.

The ambassador’s actions were “incomprehensible” according to a statement.

“Jordan is always open to frank dialogue that approaches all issues with all partners and friendly countries through diplomatic channels and direct contact, in accordance with diplomatic norms, but that it does not accept interference in its internal affairs,” a statement on the Petra news agency said.

The statement said the matter of broadcast licence is being “dealt with according to laws and regulations and with absolute transparency.”

The country is open to dialogue and that such matters must be dealt with through the appropriate diplomatic channels of communication.

The statement also touched upon the long-standing friendship the Arab nation shares with the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation summoned the Dutch ambassador to the UAE to protest the interference.

The ministry “informed him of the UAE’s strong protest and denunciation of the interference of his country’s ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Jordan’s internal affairs.”

“The ministry affirmed the UAE’s solidarity with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and expressed its strong protest against the irresponsible statement breaching diplomatic norms that was made by the Dutch ambassador on October 19, 2022,” the statement added.