RIYADH – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to offer Jordan $2.5 billion to help stabilize the country after daily protests against austerity measures and tax increases, Saudi official news agency SPA reported on Monday.
The economic aid was approved in a meeting between the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah of Kuwait and Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Makhtoum of the United Arab Emirates.
“Based on the fraternal and strong bonds among the four countries as well as the Arab and Islamic values and principles, the three countries agreed to provide a package of economic aid ($ 2.5 billion) to Jordan,” the joint statement said.
The package included, among other things, a deposit at Jordan’s Central Bank and “a guarantee for the World Bank in the interest of Jordan.”
Following a meeting with Jordan’s king on Sunday, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini announced on her website an additional economic aid of 20 million euros ($23.6 million) to “address the needs of Jordanians who are particularly vulnerable.”
Jordan’s protests were sparked by the government’s controversial income tax reform bill and other austerity measures that led to Hani al-Mulki’s step down from his post as prime minister and the formation of a new government under Omar al-Razzaz, the previous minister of education.