Jordan minister quits after offending the media

2010-10-26 11:50

Jordan’s environment minister, Hazem Malhas, had resigned after “offensive” remarks against journalists, the government said today.

Malhas quit yesterday after reportedly accusing some journalists at a UN workshop in Amman a day earlier of “lying”, and being “ignorant” and “incompetent”, according to a recording posted on the local news website

At the workshop, he told two presenters from state-run Jordan Television: “You are donkeys. Don’t you know how to prepare a programme?”

Information minister Ali Ayed said Malhas submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Samir Rifai yesterday.

“He has apologised for unintentionally offending some journalists, stressing that he respects Jordan’s media,” Ayed said.

The resignation of Malhas, who has been criticised for his “undiplomatic” remarks against the press, was accepted by royal decree, the state news agency Petra reported.

The Jordan Press Association had threatened to “take legal and professional measures” against Malhas “unless he issued a formal apology”, it said in a statement.

Energy minister Khaled Irani will now handle the environment portfolio, according to another royal decree issued today.

The event organised by the United Nations and International Union for the Conservation of Nature was addressing the role of the media in sustainable development.

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