Obama vows Jordan aid, new Syria plan

Obama vows Jordan aid, new Syria plan
Sat Feb 15, 2014 19:04:32

US President Barack Obama has pledged more funds and military aid for Jordan in a meeting in California with the country’s King Abdullah II, vowing to “search” for new ways to pressure the Syrian government while admitting that it will not happen soon.

“We don’t expect to solve this anytime in the short term,” Obama said during his Friday meeting with the Jordanian monarch. “So there are going to be some immediate steps we have to take to help the humanitarian situation there. And there will be some intermediate steps that we can take to apply more pressure to the Assad regime. And we’re going to be continuing to work with all the parties concerned to move forward on a diplomatic solution.”

However, the American president, who will also receive the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in early March before his planned visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss regional issues with the Saudis as well as other rulers of Persian Gulf Arab states, did not elaborate on how he plans to change the US approach towards the Syrian crisis.

Obama also announced on Friday that he would be seeking new financial support for Washington’s long time, loyal ally in the Middle East, which is also the only Arab country besides Egypt to have formal relations with Tel Aviv’s occupying regime.

The American president said he would seek $1 billion worth of loan guarantees for Jordan, helping the country borrow in the capital markets.

He further said he would also seek the renewal of a five-year memorandum of understanding between Washington and Amman, which has been worth more than $600 million a year in financial aid and military resources.

King Abdullah, meanwhile, thanked Obama for the US support and said he was hoping to find an answer to the question of “how do we bring a politically comprehensive solution to the Syrian people.”

During their California meeting, Abdullah and Obama were also set to discuss efforts to assemble a “peace deal” between the Israelis and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority as well as the Geneva negotiations on Iran’s nuclear energy program.

The Jordanian monarch had spent a week vacationing in Washington before traveling west to meet with Obama.


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