February 28, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – There should be no confusion over the United States’ support for key Middle East allies such as Jordan, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday, as Saudi Arabia’s finance minister also pledged more of its support.
Jordan’s government fell last year after spending cuts and tax rises imposed under an IMF program caused rare public protests. The country, which sits between Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, is traditionally a regional diplomatic hub.
“I don’t think there is any confusion over U.S. support,” Mnuchin told a panel discussion at an investment conference.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said his country will continue to provide financial aid and support, including through its $500 billion mega project, known as NEOM, which extends across Saudi’s border into Jordan and Egypt.
Saudi alongside Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates put together a $2.5 billion package in June to help shore up Jordan’s struggling economy.
“We are Jordan and I mean that, I seriously mean that,” Jadaan said.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, whose government was hosting the event, said the international community needed to form “a global coalition to back Jordan”.
(Reporting by Marc Jones and Tom Arnold)