Jordan’s Relations with Trump’s Administration

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Sun 4 December / Dec 2016. 01:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

His Majesty the King showed no sign of concern during His recent interview with Australian Broadcast Channel (ABC) in regards to the future of US-Jordanian relations under the new Administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

More so, King Abdullah II thinks a change is imminent in the region’s issues and crises, pending the commence Trump’s command next year.

Jordan, unlike other countries of the region, is foremost effected by any fundamental change in the US approach to the region; because the ‘static’ in the case of Syria, for example, is long and unnecessarily extended, and has incurred humongous costs and losses to Syria itself and the countries of the region.

Additionally, it is obvious that His Majesty is not waiting for Trump’s administration to actually get to office; ahead of their arrival, His Majesty already began a series of communications that started off with Trump and his deputy, making the best out of His previous of members of Trump’s transitional team, and the personnel candidate to be appointed under the new President.

Moreover, unlike many states in the region, Jordan and the new administration will start off on the right foot, with a clean slate, and no fundamental problems; be it in the bilateral or regional discourse. Jordan’s policies towards the Syrian crisis were the least costly, compared to other parties who contributed, in a way or another, to the complication of the already tough crisis.

Similarly, Jordan is certainly expected to be the most un-reluctant to engage and perhaps even accept a US-Russian settlement in Syria; for the Kingdom has been fiercely persistent in bringing the two sides closer, driven by His Majesty’s deep rooted and much resounded conviction that the resolution in Syria cannot be attained without a Russian American agreement.

Added, Jordan’s outlook on the solution does not entail complex terms, but rather only two; the Syrians’ right of self-determination, and the unity of Syria. And based on the recently uncovered positions of Trump’s administration on Syria, it does not seem as though Washington is willing to take risks the very crisis itself had already overcome, and has gotten to the point of no going back.

Over the first duration of the President Trump’s administration, Jordan will endeavour a rapid diplomatic engagement in Washington to stipulate the formulation of Trump’s agenda’s towards the region’s issues; mainly the Syrian crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Typically, the latter is extremely complicated, and not much is expected, for a multitude of reasons.

On the bilateral level, there is an already passed programme by congress and the previous administration to define the scale and form of US aids to Jordan over the next 3 years; and this is not expected to see mentionable changes. However, the door remains open to attain more support and aid, particularly in regards to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, which is draining the Jordanian economy.

In light of dominant regional circumstance, countering terrorism remains the foremost sphere of cooperation between the two countries. That said, the next year will be decisive in the war against ISIS, also known as Daesh, on both the Syrian and Iraqi fronts.

Most probably, Trump’s administration will adopt a more effective approach to finish this war.

Obama’s administration was not overzealous about finishing this off, which has always been a Jordanian demand to see the war over as soon as possible.

Apparently, in this particular regard, Jordan’s leadership seems to be on the spot with Trump’s propositions, as well as in regards to more military effort needed to finish ISIS.

As soon as Trump is in office, on the 20th of January, we will see the convention of the First Jordan-US Summit in the White House.