Dipomats: Jordanian King's Visit to Moscow Means Hint to US to Increase Aid
Jordan’s King Abdullah's scheduled visit to Russia in the last week of August is a hint to the United States that the Hashemite kingdom requires additional military aid, diplomatic sources said.
The sources were quoted by the Middle East Newsline (MENL) as saying that the monarch wanted the Bush administration to increase military and economic support amid the current Middle East tensions and deteriorating economic situation.
The king, the sources said, wanted to demonstrate to Washington that Jordan had options and could purchase weapons from Russia.
During his three-day visit that begins on August 27, the young king is scheduled to discuss Russian arms sales to Amman, according to the report.
"The idea of Russian arms sales to Jordan makes no real sense," a Western diplomatic source told the news service. "The only reason for the talk on arms sales is to warn Washington that Jordan needs better weapons and quickly."
Jordan receives $225 million a year from the United States in military and economic aid.
The lion's share of Jordan's defense systems come from Britain and the United States. But Jordan's ambassador to Moscow, Ahmad Ali Mbaideen, told the Interfax news agency that the Hashemite military also deployed Russian weaponry. He did not elaborate, said MENL.
The envoy said the king would discuss the prospect that Russia would help train Jordan's military.
The US maintains tight oversight of its loans and sales of arms to Jordan, and recently the kingdom had to ask permission to donate used US-made tanks to Lebanon – Albawaba.com
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