Sunday, 17 June, 2018

Jordan to receive over USD1bn annual American aid

Tillerson in Beirut wades into Lebanon Israel border dispute Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Patty Aguilar | 15 February, 2018, 20:10

The US State Department further commented that the deal "highlights the pivotal role Jordan plays in helping foster and safeguard regional stability and supports US objectives such as the global campaign to defeat ISIS [Daesh], counter-terrorism cooperation and economic development."The US has historically provided Jordan with the most assistance in the region after Israel and Egypt".

Under the MoU, the U.S. will provide Jordan with aid valued at $6.3 billion over a period of 5 years ($1.275 billion annually), an increase of $275 million annually compared to the previous memorandum.

Al-Safadi reiterated Amman's position that the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the "only viable option", though it was "under threat by unilateral Israeli actions".

Tillerson called the package "a signal to the rest of the world that the U.S. -Jordan partnership has never been stronger".

Chances of a peace agreement have seemed particularly dim since Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the administration's decision to move the U.S. embassy there.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi of Jordan, who signed the aid agreement with Tillerson at a ceremony, referred to the Jerusalem decision only when asked, and briefly at that.

"For decades the US and Jordan have sustained a truly indispensable strategic partnership that has been critical to the security of both of our nations".

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The status of Jerusalem, he said, needs to be negotiated among the interested parties, based on U.N. Security Council resolutions about its future.

Tillerson downplayed the significance of the embassy move, saying the decision "was about the United States... and where we choose to place our embassy". Uber exec says "no justification" for covering up breach MORE acknowledged on Wednesday that he has seen "elements" of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: "We have a Napoleon in the making" MORE's plan for peace in the Middle East, and that the proposal is "fairly well-advanced".

But he said the plan and the timing for its release were in Trump's hands. "I will say it's fairly well advanced, is what I would say", Tillerson said.

"I think it's interesting that the USA provides about 30 percent perhaps a little more, of the total UNRWA funding from year to year", he said.

Tillerson's visit, part of a tour of the Middle East, comes at a time of tension between Lebanon and neighboring Israel, notably over the role of Hizbullah and Israel's encroachment on the country's land and maritime border.

"Hezbollah's presence in Syria has only perpetuated the bloodshed, increased the displacement of innocent people and propped up the barbaric Assad regime", Tillerson said at the news conference with Hariri, a western ally whose coalition government includes the group. But the main opposition body - including the members Tillerson met on Wednesday - boycotted the conference.

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