Could the Syrian chaos spill over the border into Jordan?
King Abdullah II of Jordan
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According to ‘Arab al Yawm’ newspaper the regular Saudi money sent to Jordan is late. But there’s been no mismanagement of the funds. Instead, according to sources within the government, Saudi is using the money as leverage to get what it wants.
And what Saudi wants is a “military stance” on Syria from the Hashemite Kingdom. In fact, unless Amman complies with the Saudi condition to set up a military base for the FSA on the Jordanian-Syrian border, they won’t see the money at all.
Dr. Emad Fhakoury, office manager of the King of Jordan, has reportedly been asking in hushed whispers, “why is the Saudi money late?”
According to Arab al Yawm, a major Jordanian government figure made a questionable phone call to a prominent Saudi insider just recently, enquiring about the aid. He was told that the payment has not yet moved.
In the meantime, Kuwait has made empty promises to step in to cover the aid deficit but if Jordan wants the Saudi money they will need to step up their policy on Syria.
For the Hashemite Kingdom, the situation is now urgent as more and more Syrian refugees flood into the country - on last count 142,000 were registered - resources are running dangerously low.
Other refugees, such as those from Iraq, have now been told to leave off updating their permits for another year because of the influx of Syrians. But the price of getting involved could be even higher for Jordan, whose proximity to the chaos is a constant source of concern.
On this basis, the Jordanian government has been doing its best to secure the money without the need to give military support to the Syrian opposition. According to the same report, Amman tried to go direct to Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, head of Saudi intelligence, to get financed. But he was on a secret trip to Turkey where he was allegedly offering financial support in exchange for Turkish promises to go pro-FSA.
This latest move doesn’t bode well for the Jordanians who are looking to stay out of politics and out of trouble. If they agree to set up a base on their border for the FSA they will lose any chance of keeping the conflict outside of their remit.
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