Saudi Arabia, Two Gulf Nations Pledge $2.5-Billion Jordan Aid

11 2018 shows Jordanian King Abdullah attending a meeting in Mecca with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al-Jaber al Sabah, and UAE's vice-president Sheik

The announcement of the economic package came shortly after Saudi King Salman urged a Sunday meeting in Mecca, gathering Jordan's King Abdullah II, Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait have offered a $2.5-billion bailout package to Jordan which has been rocked by protests amid an economic crisis.

The U.S. this year committed to give Jordan more than $6 billion in aid over the next five years, up from $1 billion annually.

A proposed law that would have increased taxes touched off mass protests that forced the resignation of Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki's government.

In December 2011, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council that is headquartered in Saudi Arabia pledged to give $2.5 billion in aid each to Jordan and Morocco, both of which had been invited to join the regional group that year. The meeting was held in the holy city of Mecca in response to the "economic crisis" in Jordan, according to SPA.

Gulf monarchies are not alone in their willingness and readiness to support the strategic Arab state: the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, also assured Jordan of continued financial support on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia to host Gulf conference on supporting Jordan
Saudi Arabia, Two Gulf Nations Pledge $2.5-Billion Jordan Aid

Jordan has for decades relied on foreign aid from the USA and oil-rich Gulf nations to prop up its economy, and the influx of 1.5 million Iraqi and Syrian refugees has further strained the country's finances.

"This is a country that has a vital role to play in the region", she told a news conference.

The funds would "address in particular the needs of Jordanians that are particularly vulnerable", Mogherini said.

Jordan is pushing fiscal consolidation measures required under an International Monetary Fund financing program including tax increases and subsidy cuts that have weighed on poorer and middle-class families.

The price of fuel has risen on five occasions since the beginning of the year.

Jordan's newly designated prime minister, Omar al Razzaz, said on Thursday he would drop a proposed income tax bill, conceding to a key demand of protesters who had already brought down the previous government.

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