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The United States has agreed to send aid worth over $1.2 billion a year for the next five years to Jordan despite US President Donald Trump’s threats to punish countries that do not agree with US policy in the Middle East.
Axar.az reports citing Press TV.
Under the deal signed Wednesday by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, the US commits to providing at least $750 million a year in economic support and $350 million in military aid.
The agreement to assist Jordan, from 2018 until 2022, boosts Washington's aid package to the key American ally by $275 million a year or $1.4 for the 5-year period.
Jordan voted in December to condemn the US for recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital city and has criticized the US for withholding millions in funding for Palestinian refugees, many of whom live in Jordan.
“Let them vote against us,” Trump said at the time. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care. But this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars. We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”
One of the largest recipients of US aid
Jordan is one of the world's largest recipients of American aid, having received over $20 billion since 1951. The kingdom also relies heavily on aid from the European Union and Saudi Arabia.
In recent years, Jordan’s economy has been battered by the conflicts in neighboring Iraq and Syria and its public debt stands at around $35 billion.
The United States has separately provided nearly $1.1 billion in humanitarian aid to support Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Fox News reports the new aid agreement seems to represent a victory for Tillerson and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, both of whom have been lobbying the administration to continue such assistance on national security grounds. But Trump and his US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, have been pressing for aid cuts.
The kingdom hosts around 650,000 Syrians who have fled their war-ravaged country since March 2011, as well as a further 700,000 who entered Jordan before the conflict.
Amman says the Syrian crisis has cost it more than $10 billion.
2018.02.14 / 19:59