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Bridging horizons: Jordan’s strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia

Dec 11,2023 - Last updated at Dec 11,2023

After more than two months of war on Gaza, the region continues to grapple with a complex situation. Jordan faces challenges in reengaging politically with the Palestinian issue. Finding diplomatic and practical solutions to address the ongoing crisis becomes imperative for Jordan.

Jordan can play a pivotal role in regional and political initiatives aimed at resolving not only the Gaza conflict, but also issues in the West Bank. Active engagement and contributions to these efforts can pave the way for practical and humanitarian solutions. Taking a broader perspective, it is crucial to work towards comprehensive resolutions for the entire issue at hand. 

Against the backdrop of ongoing crises in Syria and Iraq, coupled with challenges in the occupied West Bank, Jordan's relationship with Saudi Arabia gains increased significance, from a strategic point of view. Geographically, the border shared with Saudi Arabia presents an opportunity for regional cooperation and long-term stability. Now is the opportune moment for Jordan to focus on rebuilding and strengthening relations with Saudi Arabia, fostering a more active and productive partnership. Such collaboration could yield mutual benefits and address the challenges faced by both nations. 

Jordan should strategically work towards establishing a more productive and sustainable relationship with Saudi Arabia, considering the latter's ambitious development plans and its emerging role as a significant economic hub. Leveraging its southern geography, Jordan can contribute to and participate in the opportunities available in Saudi Arabia, fostering a sustainable model of development. Actually, Jordanian expertise is finding important opportunities within the Saudi development projects that are taking place now, and many others can still play a vital role in the region's economic and socioeconomic development.

Effective cooperation and sustainable long-term projects necessitate sound politics. Jordan must review its initiatives and approach to regional issues to lay the foundation for successful cooperation. Given the ongoing regional crises, immediate benefits from the Jordanian borders with Syria and Iraq seem unlikely. Thus, prioritising Jordanian-Saudi relations becomes increasingly important. It is time to introduce a new model of relations that promotes a win-win situation and serves as the basis for a robust economic development plan between the two countries. 

Jordan's geography, especially in the south, holds tremendous potential for future economic plans. At the last G20 meeting, US President Joe Biden highlighted the economic plan connecting India to Europe, emphasising Saudi Arabia's role as a hub. Jordan's southern geography can significantly contribute to the success of such plans. Jordan should now focus on establishing long-term relations that prioritise economic benefits and socioeconomic development. This can be a key factor for Jordan to navigate regional challenges and risks while seizing emerging opportunities. Jordan should envision innovative projects and plans that can be mutually beneficial, fostering a productive relationship between both countries, which presents an exciting window of opportunity for Jordan.

Amid the ongoing crisis and its multifaceted impacts on Jordan, from security to economic, as well as social and political, it is crucial for the Jordanian political system to have faith and explore new avenues to build a better future. Instead of merely enduring the crisis and its repercussions, it is essential to prioritise the development of a robust Saudi-Jordanian relationship. This approach offers hope and a progressive outlook for the future, ensuring that Jordan not only addresses internal challenges but also looks ahead, avoiding entrapment in the never-ending regional crisis. It is important to concentrate on seizing opportunities and creating optimism for a brighter future for Jordan.

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