Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE approve $2.5bn aid package for Jordan at emergency Gulf summit

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Saudi King Salman (left) meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II (center), UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid (right) and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (back toward the camera) at the Safa Palace in Makkah early Monday. (SPA)
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Clockwise from left: Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Saudi King Salman, Jordan's King Abdullah II and UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid (back toward the camera). (SPA)
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Left to right: UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Saudi King Salman and Jordan's King Abdullah II during a meeting at the Safa Palace in Makkah early Monday. (SPA)
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Jordan's King Abdullah II, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah listen as King Salman speaks at the close of the Makkah Summit early Monday. (SPA)
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Aftermath of the summit. (SPA)
Updated 11 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE approve $2.5bn aid package for Jordan at emergency Gulf summit

  • The package will include a deposit in the Jordanian central bank, World Bank guarantees, budgetary support over five years and financing for development projects.
  • King Salman called the meeting to muster support for ally Jordan, which had been rocked by mass protests against price rises and a proposed tax hike in recent days.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates agreed on Monday to provide an economic aid package worth $2.5 billion for Jordan, which is facing an economic crisis following anti-austerity protests.

The package, announced at a summit of the four nations in the holy city of Makkah, will include a deposit in the Jordanian central bank, World Bank guarantees, budgetary support over five years and financing for development projects, said a summit communique carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

The summit, called by Saudi King Salman, was attended by Jordan’s King Abdullah II along with UAE's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

King Salman called the meeting to garner support for ally Jordan, which had been rocked by mass protests against price rises and a proposed tax hike in recent days.

The statement noted that funding for Jordan's economic crisis comes from contributory funds for development projects in the Kingdom.

Following the meeting, King Abdullah II offered his gratitude to King Salman, Kuwait and the UAE for their support. Jordan is struggling to curb its debt after securing a $723 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2016.

Austerity measures tied to the loan have seen prices of basic necessities rise across the Kingdom of Jordan — culminating in a week of angry protests over tax proposals that forced prime minister Hani Mulki to resign.

The authorities on Thursday announced they were withdrawing the unpopular legislation, but still face a mammoth task to balance popular demands with the need to reduce the public debt burden.

Jordan blames its economic woes on instability rocking the region and the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn Syria, complaining it has not received enough international support.

The World Bank says Jordan has “weak growth prospects” this year, while 18.5 percent of the working age population is unemployed.
Saudi Arabia and the United States are two of the major donors providing vital economic assistance to Jordan.

(With AFP and Reuters)


King Salman attends closing ceremony of King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival near Riyadh

Updated 49 min 36 sec ago
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King Salman attends closing ceremony of King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival near Riyadh

RIYADH: King Salman on Saturday attended the closing ceremony of the 3rd King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival near the capital Riyadh.

The king was received on his arrival by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, and a number of officials.

The king welcomed Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s representative Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al-Saadi, Kyrgyz Premier Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev, representative of the King of Bahrain for Charity Works and Youth Affairs Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa and other guests at the camel festival’s closing ceremony. The king then handed prizes to winners of the festival. King Salman and the attendees also watched a folk dance performance.

Saudi Camel Club Chairman Fahd bin Falah bin Hithlin said that the king’s patronage of the closing ceremony was the culmination of efforts to organize the festival and consolidate its heritage.