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Historical allies in a modern day pandemic

May 07,2020 - Last updated at May 07,2020

For decades, the United States and Jordan have enjoyed an exceptionally strong relationship on the political, economic and military fronts. Successive US administrations have considered Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah, and his predecessor, His Majesty the Late King Hussein, as one of America's strongest and most crucial non-NATO allies in the Middle East region, often providing Jordan with continued political, economic and military support.

For its part, as a voice for moderation and peace in the Middle East region, Jordan has played a pivotal diplomatic and political role in relation to the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, regional cooperation and security and in relation to housing refugees from various regional conflicts.

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, King Abdullah was among the first of Arab and global leaders to vehemently condemn the attacks and pledge his support for US efforts in the global fight against terrorism, offering military and intelligence support that have proven valuable in the global war on terrorism.

Recognising Jordan's crucial role as a leading voice for moderation, religious tolerance and unity against religious extremism, the "Amman Message" was delivered by King Abdullah on November 9, 2004. Following its delivery, the "Three Points" of the "Amman Message" were adopted unanimously by the Islamic world’s most prominent political and temporal leaderships at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit at Mecca in December 2005.

Despite Jordan's limited economic and natural resources, the Kingdom has welcomed influxes of refugees from various regional conflicts, especially from Iraq and Syria, adding to Jordan's economic strains.

At a congressional press conference in November 2017, following a meeting with King Abdullah, Republican US Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said: "I have personally visited the refugee camps in Jordan, and I have seen how the people of Jordan themselves have welcomed these refugees into their own homes [and] the burden that is placed on water supplies and schools and healthcare." At the same press briefing, Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also noted that "The role of Jordan is really indispensable. It’s a country that everyone respects". At a White House meeting in June 2018, between US President Donald Trump, and Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania, President Trump lauded King Abdullah's "incredible work" and humanitarian efforts on the refugee front, referring to him as a "friend."

King Abdullah praised President Trump for his "humility" saying that “If the rest of the world just took a little bit of your humility and your grace to help us, we would be in a lot better position.

Jordan has also endured its share of terrorist attacks, perpetrated against the Kingdom for its moderate global stance and for its role against extremist ideologies. This has neither shaken nor diminished King Abdullah's resolve in the global fight against terrorism.

Today, Jordan faces unprecedented economic challenges amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In mid-March, Jordan adopted a swift national response to combat the spread of the virus, by deploying the Jordanian Armed Forces to enforce a wide-scale lockdown. The efforts undertaken by the Kingdom have been praised by many observers both domestically and internationally, despite Jordan's limited economic resources. As the country gradually eases some of the restrictive mitigation measures to combat the spread of the virus, experts believe it will take several weeks, if not months, for the country to return to normal economic activity. This will likely exacerbate the economic strains faced by the Kingdom.

While the long-term economic outlook for Jordan is difficult to assess at this stage, the Kingdom is in dire need for economic support, particularly from its most crucial allies, including the United States.

The Kingdom of Jordan has always demonstrated its gratitude for the support it has received from its allies, especially the United States. Doing what Jordan does best in times of crises, King Abdullah has directed to dispatch Jordanian doctors and medical supplies to the United States, to help Jordan's historical ally battle the pandemic.

 

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