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US, Jordan sign MOU of billions of dollars amid Israel-Palestine divergence

WASHINGTON (Xinhua) -- With their remaining differences over the Israel-Palestine peace plan, visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Jordanian counterpart Ayman al-Safadi on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) worthy billions of dollars in Amman, the Middle Eastern country’s capital city.
According to a statement released by the US State Department, the MOU, the first of its kind signed by the Trump administration, represents the US non-binding commitment to support providing no less than US$1.275 billion per year in its bilateral foreign assistance to Jordan in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-2022.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) shakes hands with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi during their meeting in Amman, Jordan on Wednesday.     --Photo Xinhua

Specifically, the MOU commits the United States to providing a minimum of US$750 million of Economic Support Funds and US$350 million of Foreign Military Financing to Jordan in FY 2018-2022.
Bringing an annual increase of US$275 million over the previous 2015-2017 MOU, the new document outlines areas of critical cooperation in the economic and defense sectors, while simultaneously mitigating the effect from Syrian and Iraqi refugees on Jordanian communities, according to the announcement.
The United States and Jordan have memorialized bilateral foreign assistance in three non-binding MOUs (FYs 2010-2014, 2015-2017, and 2018-2022).
The new commitment is subject to the appropriation and availability of funds.
For FY 2017, the United States provided some US$1.3 billion in bilateral foreign assistance and US$200 million in Department of Defense support to Jordan’s Armed Forces.
The State Department said the MOU highlights Jordan’s “pivotal” role in helping foster and safeguard regional stability and supports US objectives to defeat the Islamic State, counter-terrorism cooperation and economic development.
Tillerson began his visit to Jordan on Wednesday to meet with King Abdullah II and other senior officials on bilateral ties.

(Latest Update
February 16,

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