After Barack loved and left Jordan: the affair blossoms as U.S. deploys 'Syria' aid surge to Kingdom
U.S ambassador to Jordan Stuart Jones stressed his country's support to Jordan, adding that the purpose of US president Barack Obama's visit to Jordan last month was to convey this solidarity.
Speaking at the World Affairs Council, the ambassador added that His Majesty King Abdullah II and the US president had engaged in a productive conversation on the challenges facing the regions.
"The president announced two new assistance initiatives. First, he committed to providing $200 million in direct cash assistance to the budget of Jordan to help address the cost burden of the influx of Syrian refugees. He also committed to providing US loan guarantees for Jordanian bond issues," ambassador Jones added.
He noted that Obama's visit to Jordan was a great success, as it demonstrated again the importance of the US-Jordan partnership to the United States and to Americans. "We are very proud of this partnership. We believe that it is a partnership that benefits the people of Jordan and the people of the United States." "This partnership boosted trade ten times over ten years, and we estimate that the US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement has created 50,000 jobs in Jordan," he said.
Further, the ambassador added that the United States is grateful for the compassion and generosity of the Jordanian people in welcoming the displaced refugees from the fighting in Syria. "We recognize the extraordinary cost of providing food, water, and health and education services to these victims, and we are also aware of the impact the refugee crisis is having on the availability of jobs throughout Jordan," said the ambassador.
Jones said the United States is the largest single donor to the humanitarian efforts in the region. "We have given more than $385 million to humanitarian organizations in the Syrian theater. In addition, last July, we provided $100 million directly to Jordan in bilateral assistance," he stated.
He pointed to the president's announcement last month of an additional $200 million cash transfer in bilateral assistance, aimed at addressing the significant costs of hosting 470,000 refugees. "In addition, we have provided $20 million that is targeted at water projects in Northern Jordan," he said.
Ambassador Jones said the United States is committed and deeply engaged in supporting economic growth in Jordan. "We support His Majesty King Abdullah's strategic vision to build a productive, innovative and knowledge-based economy, driven by the private sector," the ambassador added.
"This year, we will launch a $50 million, 5-year "Competitiveness Program" to directly support private sector activity," he said.
Jones praised Jordan's reform process and His Majesty's vision for democratic reform, noting that Jordan has avoided the instability that has plagued many other countries in the region.