June 17, 2018 — Amman, Jordan
An AJC delegation conveyed Eid al-Fitr greetings to senior Jordanian officials and discussed regional political and security challenges as a new government was sworn in following weeks of protests over the country’s economic conditions.
The group, led by Board of Governors Chair Harriet Schleifer and Associate Executive Director for Policy Jason Isaacson, consulted with Chief of the Royal Hashemite Court Dr. Fayez Tarawneh and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on the U.S.-Jordanian strategic partnership, vital to the fight against terror and extremism; the kingdom’s relationship with Israel, strengthened with the arrival two months ago of an Israeli ambassador after an almost nine-month absence; and the burden of hosting more than 1 million refugees, most of them Syrian, in a population of some 9.5 million.
The delegation’s itinerary included an audience with His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal, a longtime leader in efforts to promote interfaith understanding and international peace, and meetings with U.S. and Israeli diplomats, and civil society and business leaders.
“AJC recognizes both the significant contribution the Kingdom of Jordan makes to regional security, in cooperation with the United States and with Israel, and the significant strains caused by the ongoing crisis in Syria and the effects of continued instability in Iraq and Iranian encroachment in the Levant,” said Isaacson. “With all its challenges, we look to Jordan to play a critical role in stabilizing this troubled region – and, with the expected announcement of a U.S. framework on Israel-Palestinian peace, to work with all affected parties toward a resolution of this bitter conflict.”
A new Jordanian government was sworn in June 14, on the eve of the Eid festival, following mass protests over a planned tax increase and cutbacks in government subsidies, part of an economic package designed to meet requirements of an international financial assistance program. Safadi, Foreign Minister since January 2017, was among the cabinet members whose mandates were renewed.
The 16-person AJC delegation traveled to Jordan for four days after participating in the AJC Global Forum in Jerusalem – the first time the 112-year-old organization’s signature annual event was convened outside the United States. AJC travels to Jordan routinely for consultations on issues of mutual concern, maintains close contact with the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv, and meets periodically with Jordanian diplomats and visiting officials in the United States.