U.S Vice President Joe Biden (L) satisfies Jordan’s King Abdullah II (R) on his arrival at Al- Husseineya palace on March 10, 2016 in Amman, Jordan. (Image by Jordan Pix/Getty Photographs)
The Jordanian monarch, King Abdullah II, was between the initial Arab leaders to congratulate Joe Biden on his earn in November. In a tweet sent on November 7, King Abdullah II explained: “Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and VP-election Kamala Harris. I glimpse ahead to working with you on more advancing the strong historic partnership concerning Jordan and the United States, in the interest of our shared aims of peace, balance and prosperity.”
Above the past couple of many years, the marriage concerning Jordan and the U.S. has been uneasy, principally simply because of President Donald Trump’s policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Trump took many steps that Jordan regarded with skepticism, this kind of as transferring the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the town as the funds of Israel, and suspending funding for the United Nations Relief and Performs Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
When the Trump administration adopted a Center East technique that favored Saudi and Israeli passions, it has almost disregarded Jordan, which is a longstanding American ally. In February 2020, the Trump administration uncovered its very long-awaited peace strategy for the Middle East, which is identified in the Arab globe as the “deal of the century.” Immediately after the Palestinians, Jordan would have witnessed the greatest adverse influence if the plan was applied. Its enforcement would have remaining the kingdom to deal with various extended-term obstacles.
Nonetheless whilst Jordan, which is in financial turmoil, and the Trump administration did not share the exact same sights on the Israel–Palestine conflict, Amman-Washington relations did not sour completely. Jordan, which cooperates with the U.S. on counterterrorism, receives more than $1 billion of economic and armed forces support from Washington per year. Due to the fact of this help, and for other reasons too, Jordan has been mindful to avoid a full rift with the Trump administration. This can be viewed in its refusal to back again Israel’s West Bank annexation designs, which were being much louder than its objections to Trump’s peace plan.
For occasion, immediately after the peace program was unveiled, Jordan reaffirmed per the Jordan Moments that the institution of an impartial Palestinian condition alongside the June 4, 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its funds on the basis of the two-condition option is the only route to a detailed and lasting peace. As for the annexation, the Jordanian monarch, King Abdullah II, warned in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel in May perhaps that if Israel proceeds with its options, then its shift would lead to a “massive conflict” with Jordan.
Considering the fact that the coronavirus outbreak, Jordan—which has a population of about 10 million—has recorded about 300,000 COVID conditions and more than 4,000 fatalities. As one particular would imagine, the pandemic is very likely to further worsen Jordan’s financial crisis.
Indeed, Jordan is a single of the couple nations around the world in its community that was relieved by Biden’s victory. “In Jordan, the management is joyful that Biden received, and President Trump missing the elections,” Mustafa Hamarneh, a member of the Senate of Jordan, explained to me. “There was remarkable tension, specifically right after the start of the ‘deal of the century’ and the approach of normalization with the UAE, Bahrain, and the other people. Jordan felt it was currently being undermined and there was a feeling if Trump wins, it will be definitely dragged into becoming a member of the so-identified as ‘deal of the century’ irrespective of whether it preferred it or not and a large amount of fait accompli will be applied.”
“So, there is a sigh of reduction that Biden won,” Hamarneh stated. “At the very same time, I think in some conservative quarters inside of Jordan, they be concerned about the Democrats will be when yet again pushing for human rights, freedoms, etc….”
The Biden administration is in a situation to deal with the latest unease in U.S.-Jordan relations. On January 29, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi. Spokesperson Ned Price tag claimed, “The Secretary expressed his appreciation for Jordan’s leadership in advancing regional peace and steadiness. They discussed quite a few issues of mutual interest and reaffirmed the significance of the deep bilateral partnership involving our two countries.”
While Biden is not likely to reverse some of the Trump administration decisions—for case in point, he pledged to preserve the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem—he is continue to not likely to adhere to Trump’s route. In other words, Biden’s plan on the conflict is envisioned to be closer to America’s regular stance that Trump reversed following turning out to be president four many years back. For occasion, whilst Trump has refrained from endorsing the two-state resolution, Biden has not. In his initial dialogue with an Arab chief adhering to his victory in November, Biden talked with King Abdullah II and explained to the Jordanian monarch he hopes to cooperate on “supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Also, the Biden administration introduced on January 26 that it was renewing assist to Palestinian refugees.
It is also likely that the range of veteran diplomat William Burns as Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director will reinforce the ties in between Amman and Washington. Burns served involving 1998 and 2001 as the U.S. ambassador to Jordan and is claimed to have an “exceptional” connection with the kingdom. In addition, his knowing of the location, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is believed to be both equally deep and balanced.
Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, writes, “In addition to concentrating on the pandemic and restoring some harmony to the American strategy to the Palestinian problem, King Abdullah will also look for a more coherent approach to the disaster in Syria. Abdullah’s relationship with Barack Obama soured in the latter’s next time period, owing to the king’s irritation with the administration’s arms-off method to the Syrian catastrophe.”
On January 16, King Abdullah II frequented the UAE and met Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. At a meeting, both equally guys stressed the need to have to keep coordination and session on troubles of mutual worry, while bolstering cooperation throughout all sectors, according to a Royal Court docket statement. On the identical day, Jordan’s deputy prime minister and overseas minister Ayman Safadi frequented Saudi Arabia and satisfied his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan. The two diplomats reportedly reviewed bilateral relations. The two overseas ministers also exchanged views on regional and international concerns of frequent issue.
The adhering to day, the head of the Jordanian Typical Intelligence Directorate, Ahmed Husni, and head of Egypt’s Standard Intelligence Services, Abbas Kamel, frequented Ramallah. Throughout their take a look at, they achieved with President Mahmoud Abbas. In accordance to a Palestinian Authority formal, the go to transpired within just the context of ongoing coordination in between the Palestinians and the two Arab nations in planning for participating Biden’s administration. On January 18, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi frequented Jordan and met King Abdullah II. The two leaders held talks on bilateral ties and regional affairs. A Royal Court statement observed that the two leaders talked over indicates to bolster cooperation throughout all sectors, and extend Jordanian-Egyptian-Iraqi cooperation, whilst developing on progress produced at the a few former summits. Really worth noting, the 3 earlier summits involving the leaders of Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq took position in March 2019, September 2019, and August 2020.
Veteran Jordanian journalist and political commentator Osama al-Sharif advised me that the goal of King Abdullah’s go to to Abu Dhabi was to “consult and coordinate positions forward of the Biden presidency and following the departure of Trump. That was also the objective of Ayman Safadi’s pay a visit to to Riyadh in which equally sides reiterated aid for the two-state answer and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
Al-Sharif noted that “King Abdullah is in a good place to get back part as a critical participant in long run US-led peace endeavours subsequent several years of marginalization below Trump. Jordan is now hoping to use the normalization agreements that took location not long ago as leverage on Israel to re-have interaction the Palestinians and salvage the two-point out answer. Also Jordan and Egypt have been putting pressure on President Abbas to hold elections in buy to cement the legitimacy of the Palestinian leadership and institutions as a gesture to the Biden administration.”
It is therefore not tough to discern that there is optimism in Jordan above their ties with Washington below a Biden administration. As Curtis Ryan, professor of political science at Appalachian Condition College and author of Jordan and the Arab Uprisings: Routine Survival and Politics Outside of the Condition, notes, “For the Biden era in US-Jordanian relations, Jordanians at equally govt and opposition amounts are merely seeking to be read and appreciated by the United States.” Of course, what stays to be seen is how long it will acquire for those relations to return to the pre-Trump era.
Abdulaziz Kilani is British-Arab author and researcher who focuses on the Middle East and North Africa area. He tweets @AZ_Kilani.