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Jordan's economic reforms a 'necessary pain' - US

By AFP - Nov 17,2012 - Last updated at Nov 17,2012

WASHINGTON - Tough economic reforms biting hard in Jordan, which have pushed up fuel prices and triggered protests, are "a necessary pain" to meet the nation's challenges, a top US official said Friday.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is travelling in Asia, spoke this week with King Abdullah and "commended the Jordanian government's efforts to address their economic challenges, and the king's commitment to reform," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

"Jordan's economic challenges are substantial. Economic reform is necessary. There is always some pain that comes with these things, but it's a necessary pain this case."

Nuland refused to draw parallels between the situation in Jordan and the unrest last year in countries like Tunisia and Egypt.

It was the International Monetary Fund that said that Jordanian government subsidies were "not sustainable for a modern economy," Nuland said.

"In the case of Tunis, you had a population that was massively frustrated with the lack of reform and the lack of attention to the people's needs," she told reporters.

"In the case of Jordan, you have a government that is wrestling with reform, trying to meet obligations for reform both to their own people and to the IMF."

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