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Imperative support

May 18,2020 - Last updated at May 18,2020

Jordan is undoubtedly facing its most difficult economic challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, placing an unenviable strain on the Kingdom. Its soaring national debt and budget deficits have reached levels far beyond Jordan's capacity to tackle them on its own, without the support of its regional and international friends and allies.

For several decades, Jordan has shouldered the responsibility of housing refugees from various regional conflicts. In recent years, the country witnessed its second largest influx of refugees in its history, mainly from Syria.

If we were for a moment to exclude from our analysis the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that has placed an unexpected economic burden on Jordan and other countries around the World, through no fault of their own, the economic support that has been provided to Jordan from its friends and allies to house the Syrian refugees has been moderate at best, if we factor in the real costs incurred by the Kingdom.

For its part, Jordan has never exploited any crisis, nor has the Kingdom ever lobbied or rallied for a particular political agenda in its own favour as some countries tend to do in times of crises. And now, as the world faces tremendous pain and suffering from the global pandemic, the State of Israel is attempting to exploit the opportunity to annex parts of the West Bank and Jordan Valley, despite repeated warnings against such a dangerous unilateral move from rational voices who support the peace process and its very foundation of the two-state solution, and despite warnings from higher-level security agencies from within Israel, on the dangerous repercussions it poses to the peace process and future relations with Jordan.

Within the current context, it is very difficult to assess the consequences of the proposed annexation on Jordan.

Not even a month has passed since His Majesty King Abdullah called upon leaders around the world to align their efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, while stressing the necessity of international cooperation and alignment, and that no country can confront the pandemic alone.

The dire economic challenges facing Jordan and other countries that have been hard-hit by the pandemic, are a wake-up call for global economies to take a stance in support of the Kingdom, through foreign direct investment, foreign aid and foreign grants on the one hand, and through bolstering Jordanian exports on the other hand.

The Kingdom has notably been and continues to be a faithful and reliable ally that respects and adheres to its regional and international treaties and alliances. A country like Jordan, that has dealt with its friends and allies for decades as a voice for peace and moderation, with remarkable sophistication and loyalty, should not be left to tackle the unprecedented challenges that lie ahead without the unbridled support of its friends and allies.

It is therefore imperative for Jordan's friends and allies to provide the Kingdom with the necessary economic and political support as it emerges from the pandemic, and Israel's destabilising threats of annexation.

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