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Jordan secures $6.4bn aid package despite Trump threats

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Amman, Jordan on 14 February 2018 [Shadi Nsoor/Anadolu Agency]

Jordan has been allocated $6.4 billion worth of US aid, despite President Donald Trump threatening to cut funds to countries that opposed his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to Ynet News.

In a meeting yesterday held between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, the American official stressed that Amman had proven itself a pillar of stability in the volatile region.“The additional funds and years will support Jordan’s important role in addressing regional conflict and instability, including the impact that the crisis in Syria has had on Jordan,” he told reporters.He added that the funds would also help Jordan’s King Abdullah pursue his domestic economic agenda, in order to reach the “self-reliance” that Jordan seeks.

The US State Department further commented that the deal “highlights the pivotal role Jordan plays in helping foster and safeguard regional stability and supports US objectives such as the global campaign to defeat ISIS [Daesh], counter-terrorism cooperation and economic development.”The US has historically provided Jordan with the most assistance in the region after Israel and Egypt. The latest agreement pledges $1.275 billion in US aid to Jordan each year for five years – a 27 per cent increase from the last deal. It also includes military financing as well as economic assistance funds.

Read: US delivers helicopters to bolster Jordan’s border defences

Jordanian official Safadi praised the move, calling the US “a true friend and a solid partner to the Kingdom”.

“We greatly appreciate your support. We thank you for the new aid package that will strongly help us carry out our economic reform programmes and meet our developmental and defence needs.”

The aid pledge comes after Trump’s declaration at the end of last year that the US would cut aid to countries that voted against its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at the UN.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Trump said at the White House in December.

However this week, both states expressed positivity towards the peace plan currently being finalised by the US, with Safadi emphasising Jordan’s support for a two-state solution. The Trump administration has previously said that it would support a two-state solution only if both Israel and Palestine agreed to it, allegedly for fear of being bias.

Since Trump’s announcement, the US has cut aid to the Palestinian refugee organisation UNRWA, freezing $65 million worth of funds and plunging the UN agency into a financial crisis.

Read: Tillerson says US Mideast peace plan ‘fairly well advanced’

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Asia & AmericasInternational OrganisationsIsraelJordanMiddle EastNewsPalestineUNUS
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