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US to boost Jordan aid despite Trump's threats

Trump warned those that voted against him would risk losing financial aid [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 February, 2018

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The US will increase its foreign aid to Jordan, despite Trump's threats to cut support for countries that choose to criticise his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The United States is set to boost aid to Jordan by more than $1 billion annually over the next five years, despite repeated threats to punish countries that do not agree with its Middle East policies.

US President Donald Trump made an unprecedented threat to fellow members of the international community ahead of a vote at the UN, warning that those who vote against his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel risk diplomatic retaliation and losing financial aid.

Jordan, a critical American partner in the Middle East, voted in December to condemn the US for recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and slammed the decision to withhold millions in funding for Palestinian refugees, many of whom live in Jordan.

Despite Jordan's stance, and Trump's threats, the administration has decided to give Jordan $1.275 billion annually until 2022 - nearly $275 million more per year than currently.

Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, and Jordan's foreign minister signed the aid agreement in Jordan's capital, Amman on Wednesday.

The deal appears to be a victory of sorts for Tillerson and defence secretary Jim Mattis, both of whom have lobbied for continued assistance on national security grounds, while US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Trump have pushed for aid cuts.

Jordan is one of only two Arab nations to have full diplomatic relations with Israel, and has a large Palestinian population, making it a critical American ally.

A shooting at Israel's Amman embassy last summer that killed two Jordanians led to months-long diplomatic spat between the two countries.

The incident marked the lowest point in Israeli-Jordanian relations since the two countries signed a peace agreement in 1994.

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