Saudi Arabia bails out Jordan

Saudi Arabia initiates a $2.5 b. aid package to stabilise Jordan, changes course on Jerusalem

Jordan’s King Abdullah with Saudi King Salman

Bruce Riedel writes in |Times of Israel, “Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is bailing out his fellow monarch, Jordan’s King Abdullah, from a crisis the Saudis helped create. Whatever the Saudis’ timing or motives, they are doing the right thing as Jordan’s stability is crucial to the region. Salman convened a summit in Mecca on June 10 with Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum to address Jordan’s financial crisis and the demonstrations it has produced. The crisis has already toppled the Jordanian prime minister.” …

“With few natural resources Jordan has long been dependent on outside benefactors including the United States and the European Union. The halt in the aid package last year played a critical role in creating the conditions for the current protests in Jordan; uncertainty about Saudi and Gulf aid has not been helpful to create confidence in Jordan’s finances.”…

“The Saudis have been increasingly unhappy with Jordan’s policies on several crucial issues. First, Jordan has not joined the Saudi blockade of Qatar, although it withdrew its ambassador in Doha last year. Qatar is the third-largest investor in Jordan and trade has grown since last summer. The Saudis have also been unhappy with Jordan’s strong opposition to the US Embassy move to Jerusalem.”

“But that irritation has faded as the Saudis have moved to reassert traditional Saudi positions in the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Salman has taken the lead on reaffirming the Saudi position during the self-proclaimed Jerusalem Arab League Summit in Dhahran on April 15. Saudi efforts to intimidate Jordan have backfired.” (more…)


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