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Photo: AP
King Abdullah II of Jordan
Photo: AP
Smadar Perry

Jordan's king is left isolated and weak, at our peril

Analysis: As his country's economic crisis worsens, King Abdullah II has no one to turn to, with neighboring countries deeming him not important enough in the region and Washington opting for Egypt's Sisi as its local Arab ally

King Abdullah II of Jordan has already complained three times that he failed to obtain any information from the Trump administration about the peace plan dubbed “the deal of the century” when he went to Washington two months ago. 

 

 

When Abdullah tried to extract some information about Jordan’s role in the long-delayed proposal, the Americans apparently were extremely evasive and didn’t give him any details.

King Abdullah II of Jordan with US President Donald Trump at the White House (Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)
King Abdullah II of Jordan with US President Donald Trump at the White House (Photo: AP)

 

Thus, unlike Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi - who is quite certain not only of his country’s role in the peace agreement but also in his relations with Washington - Abdullah has no one to consult with on this issue.

 

After an Arabic daily Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Qabas, revealed a secret plan meant to harm the top officials in the Jordanian government, Abdullah embarked on a mission to make a series of dramatic changes.

 

 These changes included replacing the head of Jordanian intelligence, dismissing senior officials in the royal palace and ordered Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz to fire seven of his ministers. All in the hopes that these changes would make Jordan a suitable partner for Washington.

 

King Abdullah II of Jordan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
King Abdullah II of Jordan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Photo: AFP)

 

Sources in Amman say that Israelis were the ones who leaked the information about the secret plan to topple the Jordanian regime to the Kuwaiti paper, in order to make it clear to Abdullah whom he really depends on.

 

The days when Israeli prime ministers shared valuable intelligence with the Jordanian king - and begged the Americans to provide the kingdom with more financial aid - are long gone. Jordan, to this day and despite the difficulties, continues to worry about Israel’s security.

 

King Abdullah II of Jordan at an Arab League conference in Tunisia (Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)
King Abdullah II of Jordan at an Arab League conference in Tunisia (Photo: AP)

 

Furthermore, despite Jerusalem and Amman being out of contact, the security cooperation between the two states continues, because there is a deep sense of understanding - very rare for in our volatile region - between the senior security officials of both sides.

 

The relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abdullah are especially complicated. Abdullah recently revealed that Netanyahu had apparently asked to visit his palace for a quick photo-op two days before the elections.

 

In return, Abdullah claims, Netanyahu promised to “put in a good word” at the White House for the Jordanians.

 

King Abdullah with Benjamin Netanyahu in Amman in 2014 (Photo: GPO)
King Abdullah with Benjamin Netanyahu in Amman in 2014 (Photo: GPO)

 

The king, however - unlike in the previous elections - vehemently refused. Abdullah said he didn’t want to make empty statements and also didn’t want photo-ops with Netanyahu that would infuriate the Jordanian public.

 

The public is already furious about the dire economic situation in the country and the deteriorating relations with the rest of the Arab world.

 

Financial aid promised by Saudi Arabia and the US was much smaller than expected. Bashar Assad’s regime terrifies Abdullah, Iraq is occupied by the Iranians, while the phone from Jerusalem has stopped ringing altogether.

 

And unless decision-makers in Jerusalem, Washington and the Gulf states realize that the king is indeed important, they may have to face the fallout of economic collapse in the small kingdom.

 


פרסום ראשון: 05.17.19, 19:26
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