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US pledges $6.3b in assistance to Jordan for 5 years

King, Tillerson discuss region, terror, UNRWA sustainability

By JT - Feb 14,2018 - Last updated at Feb 14,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah holds talks US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Amman on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday received US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is visiting Jordan as part of a regional tour, and discussed the strategic partnership between the two countries, along with regional and international developments.

At the meeting, the two sides reaffirmed the importance of the five-year memorandum of understanding between Jordan and the United States on economic and military cooperation, signed in Amman on Wednesday, according to a Royal Court statement.

Under the memo, the US will provide around $6.3 billion in assistance over five years, with $1.275 billion provided annually and a $275 million increase over the 2015-2017 memo, in order to enable Jordan to continue reform and development programmes, and to mitigate the impact of the refugee burden.

Speaking at the meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Hani Mulki, King Abdullah expressed Jordan’s appreciation for the US support to help the Kingdom implement development programmes and address the challenges brought about by regional crises.

Discussions also covered the peace process, with His Majesty calling for regional and international efforts to relaunch Palestinian-Israeli negotiations based on the two-state solution, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The two sides discussed crises in the Middle East—including the Syrian crisis—stressing the importance of resolving them politically.

The meeting also addressed regional and international efforts to fight terrorism within a holistic approach.

On the developments in Iraq and Lebanon, the two sides reaffirmed the need to support efforts to safeguard security and stability in Lebanon, while also enhancing the capabilities of the Lebanese army.

Moreover, the meeting touched on UNRWA’s key role, which has been compromised following Washington’s decision to cut aid to the Palestinian work and relief agency. The King stressed the UN agency’s importance in providing vital services to Palestinian refugees, which requires ensuring that the agency receives adequate assistance to continue its humanitarian responsibilities.

For his part, Tillerson voiced US’ appreciation for Jordan’s role, led by His Majesty, in bolstering regional security and stability, praising the Kingdom’s efforts in shouldering the Syrian refugee burden.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan, Jordan’s Ambassador in Washington, DC, Dina Kawar and US Charge d’Affaires Henry Wooster, as well as the US delegation accompanying the secretary, attended the meeting.

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VERY GOOD NEWS AS IT SHOULD BE FOR A RELIABLE ALLY AND FRIEND IN THE REGION. HOWEVER, THE TREND OF ENVENTS REGARDING NATIONALISM, HISTORY AND ME FIRST THAT IS SWEEPING THE WHOLE WORLD TODAY RANGING FROM BREXIT, S-HOLE LABELLING,THE SALE OF AFRICANS IN LYBIA TO ALL OTHER FORMS OF ANTI-IMMIGRATION, XENOPHOBIA, ISLAMOPHOBIA AND WINNER TAKES ALL MENTALITIES IN OUR WORLD TODAY MEANS THAT ECONOMIC IDEPENDENCE IS A SIN-QUA-NONE FOR THE SURVIVAL OF ANY NATION. MEANWHILE ALL FORMS OF GIFTS, CREDITS, FOREIGN AIDS AND DEFENSIVE AND PROTECTIVE PROMISES ARE NOT WITHOUT STRINGS ATTACHED WHICH IMPLIES THAT NOTHING IS LEGALLY BINDING. AND SO, THIS IS THE TIME TO MAKE HEY WHILE THE SUN SHINES. AT ANY RATE, I AM VERY HAPPY THAT MY COUNTRY HAS EXTENDED OUR HELPING HANDS TO OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN AMMAN.

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