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US, Jordan to sign aid deal worth billions

King Abdullah of Jordan, seen here speaking at last month's economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, said Sunday that the United States remains essential to any hope of a peaceful solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
Fabrice COFFRINI (AFP/File)
Details are yet to be made official as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flies to Jordan to seal the deal

The United States is to send aid worth over $1 billion a year to Jordan under a deal signed Wednesday by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

The agreement, worth $1.3 billion (1 billion euros) a year from 2018 until 2022, boosts Washington's annual aid package to the key American ally by $275 million.

The first such deal between the two since Donald Trump took office as president, it commits the US to providing at least $750 million a year in economic support and $350 million in military aid.

Jordan is one of the world's largest recipients of American aid, having received over $20 billion since 1951.

The kingdom also relies heavily on aid from the European Union and Saudi Arabia.

Its economy has been battered by the conflicts in neighbouring Iraq and Syria and its public debt stands at around $35 billion.

The United States has separately provided nearly $1.1 billion in humanitarian aid to support Syrian refugees in Jordan.

The kingdom hosts around 650,000 Syrians who have fled their war-ravaged country since March 2011, as well as a further 700,000 who entered Jordan before the conflict. 

Amman says the Syrian crisis has cost it more than $10 billion.


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