US inks major defense agreement with Jordan
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding worth $6.375 billion in defense aid to Jordan, in a ceremony in Amman on Wednesday.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi signed the document, which continues on an expiring American pledge of aid from the Obama administration.
Tillerson, who has toured the region this week discussing the US-led coalition fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said that Jordan has proven itself once again a pillar of stability in the world’s most 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,” Tillerson said.
It will also help King Abdullah pursue his domestic economic agenda, in order to reach the “self-reliance” that Jordan seeks, Tillerson added.
The US provides Jordan with more assistance than any other nation. This agreement pledges $1.275b. in US aid to Jordan each year for five years – a 27% increase from the last MoU, which lasted two years. It includes military financing as well as economic assistance funds.
“The United States has been a true friend and a solid partner to the kingdom,” said Safadi. “The MoU we have just signed is a testimony to the enduring nature of our relations. We greatly appreciate your support. We thank you for the new aid package that will strongly help us carry out our economic reform programs and meet our developmental and defense needs.”
The Jordanian minister noted that he and Abdullah had discussed the situation in Syria, as well as Israeli-Palestinian peace, during Tillerson’s visit and in the lead-up to the ceremony.
“We’ll continue to work together in pursuit of peace and stability,” Safadi continued. “We will remain partners in the fight against terrorism until we destroy this evil. Jordan will not waver in its commitment to working with you, sir, and with the rest of our partners in the global coalition to defeat Daesh [ISIS] and its ideology of hate.”
US SECRETARY of State Rex Tillerson shakes hands with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi after their joint news conference in Amman yesterday.