Merkel pledges $100 million loan for troubled Jordanian economy

1 / 3
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reviews an honour guard upon her arrival at the Jordanian Royal Palace in Amman on June 21, 2018. (AFP)
2 / 3
erman Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with German soldiers stationed in Jordan, June 21, 2018. (Reuters)
3 / 3
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Jordan's King Abdullah II pose as they shake hands after a press conference at the Royal Palace in the Jordanian capital Amman on June 21, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 21 June 2018
0

Merkel pledges $100 million loan for troubled Jordanian economy

  • Merkel visited Jordan amid an escalating domestic row over migration
  • The chancellor said Germany will provide the $100 million loan in addition to bilateral aid which amounts to about 384 million euros ($442 million) this year.

AMMAN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a $100 million loan to troubled Jordan, where mass protests over austerity measures forced the prime minister to resign earlier this month.
Merkel visited the kingdom amid an escalating domestic row over migration. Standing next to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, she made no reference to the crisis that’s straining her ruling coalition.
The chancellor said Germany will provide the $100 million loan in addition to bilateral aid which amounts to about 384 million euros ($442 million) this year. She said she hopes the additional funds will help Jordan carry out economic reforms sought by the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF is seeking such reforms to lower Jordan’s public debt-to-GDP ratio, which has risen to about 96 percent, in part because of the continued economic fallout from Syria’s civil war and other regional crises.
“We are aware of the challenges you face, both in the realm of security and in civil society development,” Merkel said, adding that she wished the government success in implementing “needed reforms.”
“The IMF, and it’s known for this, often has very ambitious ideas about reforms, and implementing them is anything but simple,” she said.
Merkel is meanwhile facing a serious crisis in her coalition.
Bavaria’s Christian Social Union party demands that some migrants should be turned back at Germany’s borders, and has given her two weeks to reach agreement with European partners. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the CSU’s leader, is threatening to go ahead unilaterally with his plans if she doesn’t — potentially threatening the governing coalition.
Leaders from a group of European Union countries, led by Germany and France, will meet Sunday to thrash out possible solutions.


Russian-backed air strikes hit Daesh in southern Syria — sources

Updated 48 min 22 sec ago
0

Russian-backed air strikes hit Daesh in southern Syria — sources

  • Daesh-affiliated forces entrenched in the Yarmouk Basin
  • The agricultural area has become the main battleground in the sensitive border region

AMMAN: Russian and Syrian jets stepped up their bombing of a Daesh bastion along the Jordan-Israel border in southwestern Syria, as the militants pushed into areas abandoned by other rebel groups, diplomatic and opposition sources said.
Daesh-affiliated forces entrenched in the Yarmouk Basin, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Jordan, also repelled a ground attack by the Syrian army and its allies, the sources added.
The agricultural area has become the main battleground in the sensitive border region after a major Russian-backed Syrian army offensive routed other rebel groups who were once backed by Washington, Jordan and Gulf states.
An intelligence source told Reuters 1,000-1,500 Daesh fighters had been holding their ground despite the 10-day-old bombing campaign that he said had hit villages and caused “untold number” of civilian casualties
A former resident in touch with relatives said thousands of civilians whose villages have been bombed have fled to the safety of areas either held by the army or rebels.
Another source familiar with the situation said Daesh had actually been able to expand its territory over the last 20 hours by seizing at least 18 villages abandoned by other rebels under the banner of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Daesh was taking advantage of the collapse of its ideological FSA rivals which it views as apostates, the source said.
The United States once armed the southern FSA rebels, but told them at the start of the Russian-Syrian offensive not to expect its intervention. While cutting other aid to the rebels, Washington had continued to provide those fighting Islamic State with weapons, the source added.
The Syrian army said its aerial strikes and shelling of militants in the Yarmouk Basin — the only territorial pocket held by the hard-line Sunni fundamentalists in the country’s southwest — had killed “tens of terrorists” in a campaign whose goal it said was to crush militants.
The army and its allies have been pushing to expand their foothold near the Golan frontier by negotiating surrender deals with rebel groups and allowing them to move to opposition-held areas in northern Syria.