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‘Assistance deal signals strongest ever Jordan-US partnership’

By Mohammad Ghazal - Feb 14,2018 - Last updated at Feb 14,2018

AMMAN — Jordan and the US on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which the US will provide Jordan with $6.375 billion over the next five years.

Jordan will receive $1.275 billion per year under the deal, which is a $275 million annual increase over the value entailed in previous memorandum of understanding.

“For decades, the US and Jordan sustained a strategic and indispensible partnership and we recognise the importance of this partnership by signing this MoU for the coming five years,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a joint press conference on Wednesday with Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi after signing the deal.

“This MoU is a signal to the rest of the world that the US-Jordan partnership has never been stronger,” Tillerson said, adding that it represents around 27 per cent increase compared to previous bilateral commitments to Jordan. 

The US also increased the length of the MoU from three to five years, giving Jordan greater certainty, which will also support Jordan’s important role in addressing regional conflicts and instability and address the impact of the Syrian crisis on the country, the US official said.

The MoU is the third of such deals on aid with the US and the first to be signed under the administration of US President Donald Trump, Safadi said during the press conference.

“This MoU will tremendously help Jordan economic reform plans and development projects and enhance our defence capabilities...We are grateful to the US for its continued support to Jordan and we highly value the strategic partnerships and ties between the two countries,” said Safadi.

Reaffirming the strength of ties, Safadi said: “The US is a true friend and solid partner to Jordan.”

The commitment highlights the pivotal role Jordan plays in helping foster and safeguards regional stability and supports US objectives, such as the global campaign to defeat Daesh, counter-terrorism cooperation and economic development, Tillerson added.

The MOU outlines areas of critical cooperation in the economic and defence sectors and directly supports His Majesty King Abdullah’s political and economic reform agenda, while simultaneously mitigating the effect from Syrian and Iraqi refugees on Jordanian communities, according to a statement by the US embassy in Amman.

The MoU commits the US to support providing a minimum of $750 million US dollars of Economic Support Funds and $350 million of Foreign Military Financing  to Jordan between 2018 and 2022, according to the statement.

As part of this bilateral understanding, Jordan has committed to prioritise economic and security sector reforms that aim to support Jordanian self-reliance.

In addition to bilateral foreign assistance, since the start of the Syria crisis, the US has provided nearly $1.1 billion in humanitarian assistance to support Syrian refugees in Jordan (in addition to funding provided at the regional level for other refugee populations in the Kingdom). 

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