U.S. to Increase Aid to Jordan, Despite Opposition to Jerusalem Move

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AMMAN—The U.S. will commit at least $1.275 billion a year to boost Jordan’s security Wednesday, increasing its aid to a key ally in the tumultuous Middle East.

The agreement will boost the U.S.’s contribution by nearly $1.4 billion over five years and follows a threat by President

Donald Trump

to cut aid to countries—including Jordan—that opposed America’s move to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The administration’s decision not to make good on its threat highlights the importance it places on security cooperation with Jordan.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will sign the memorandum of understanding in Amman on Wednesday, ahead of a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Jordan remains a key partner to Washington in the fight against Islamic State. The Pentagon has relied on Jordan to stage military operations in the region and Jordan has been a hub to train Syrian fighters. The countries also have close intelligence ties.

Trump administration officials previewed Mr. Tillerson’s announcement earlier this week as part of the unveiling of the 2019 budget, which also proposes to slash State Department funding by 30%.

Hari Sastry,

director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, told reporters Monday that Mr. Tillerson would sign the agreement committing the U.S. to $1.275 billion annually in foreign assistance for five years.

The previous memorandum of understanding committed the U.S. to $1 billion annually in foreign assistance to Jordan. However, the U.S. has given more, such as in 2017 when it committed $1.3 billion in foreign assistance and $200 million in Pentagon funds to support Jordan’s military.

President Donald Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in December lashed out at countries who backed a resolution at the United Nations condemning Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That included Jordan and 127 other nations, many of them U.S. allies.

“Let them vote against us—we’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Mr. Trump told reporters ahead of the vote.

In January, Ms. Haley held a party in New York for the 64 countries that didn’t vote against the U.S.

Write to Felicia Schwartz at [email protected]



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