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The long-awaited visit!

Feb 25,2020 - Last updated at Feb 25,2020

Amid fanfare, Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani arrived in Amman, sending a clear message that Qatar supports Jordan's position on the "deal of the century". To be sure, Qatar is a state with a marked impact in the region, thanks to its soft power. Therefore, its support is widely appreciated in Jordan.

I have for long argued that Jordan should diversify its external alliances. In this vein, Qatar should occupy a central place in Jordan's foreign policy. That being said, Amman should not shun its traditional allies. One has to be honest and point out the valuable aid from traditional allies.

Explicit in Sheikh Tamim's visit to Jordan are deep-rooted ties that date back decades. Over the years, Doha and Amman have cultivated close cooperation in the economic, political and security arenas. However, internal differences among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have had consequences on Jordan-Gulf relations. The latest Gulf crisis posed a challenge for Jordan. But with the visit of the Qatar emir, I think that Jordanian-Qatari differences have now been put aside. Both countries need to work together to face all sorts of challenges.

Doha understands that Jordan is in an unenviable position. While Jordan approaches regional players in good faith, it has to make choices at times. But when it comes to its vital interests, Jordan cannot budge. On the whole, the ruling elite in Jordan believe the two-state solution is the only way to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. True, the American administration and the Israeli government seek to impose a different solution, but Jordan is not going to play along. Thus, Doha throwing its weight behind Amman's rejection of the US “deal of the century” is exactly what Amman needs these days.

Of course, bilateral relations remain of great importance. The ailing economy and the changing regional environment make Jordan somewhat susceptible to pressure. We all know that the patterns of amity and enmity in the region have changed a great deal. As a result, Jordan's ability to secure annual financial aid has diminished over the last decade. Many argue that the economic pressure on Jordan is deliberate to force the Kingdom to comply with the logic of “the deal of the century”. For this reason, Doha's economic aid is highly appreciated. In other words, the close cooperation with Doha will certainly reflect positively and constructively on Jordan. Perhaps, Jordan's ability to say no to “the deal of the century” is anchored in diversifying its allies.

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