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Jordan's king fears demographic changes

February 13, 2014 at 1:06 am

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has expressed his fears that demographic changes in the kingdom could see him being toppled from the throne in the next year or so.

This was revealed during an exchange in the US Senate Arms Committee last month at a session to discuss possible scenarios in the Middle East based on the US army’s reading of current events.

The Republican Senator for South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, asked the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “Will [the King of Jordan] be in power a year from now?”

General Martin Dempsey answered, “I have met with him and he is concerned with the demographic change.”

Graham continued: “He told me last year he did not think he will be there in another year because there will be a million Syrian refugees destabilising Jordan. Do you agree with that?” The general replied: “That is his concern.”

When Graham asked about the effects on the region if the King of Jordan was not in power and Bashar al-Assad was in power a year from now, Dempsey pointed out that King Abdullah is a strong ally of the US. “It will be a horrible thing for the Middle East,” responded Graham, who then asked about the “catastrophic” outcomes of expected changes in the region on Hezbollah and Israel. If Hezbollah have access to advanced Russian-made weapons, said Graham in answer to his own question, “it would be more of a nightmare for Israel than the Iranians developing nuclear weapons.”

With regards to Syria, General Dempsey said that he expects the Russians to continue their support for President Basher Al-Assad. “Is it better for the US if Assad stays or goes?” asked Graham. The latter, replied Dempsey. “That means that we cannot implement our policy,” said the senator.