It is not hard for Jordan

تم نشره في Mon 7 April / Apr 2014. 08:11 PM - آخر تعديل في Tue 8 April / Apr 2014. 04:11 PM

By Fahed Khitan

In a time when the Jordan’s GCC-allies were diplomatically cornering Qatar, Amman was still able to host sheikh Tamim; and when the Russian-US crisis peaked, even though the US is the historic ally of the kingdom and one of its biggest donors, King Abdullah II visited Moscow.

Jordan and Qatar’s positions on regional issues are highly contrasted, whether in Syria or in Egypt. Jordan is much closer to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and has stronger collation with them. However, Jordan did not follow them in their staunch stance against the Muslim Brotherhood, nor in their relations with Qatar.

Jordan could have pardoned itself from receiving the Qatari Emir, based on a legitimate reason; Qatar has not fulfilled its share of the GCC grant, like the other states. However, countries relations are calculated differently, and there are different issues that need to be taken into considerations.

We disagreed with Russia over its stance on Crimea — which Jordan has officially expressed during the UN Security Council voting —and maybe there is a contrast in the two countries position on Syria. However, relations with such big country cannot be sacrificed for that. On the other hand, there are a handful of benefits and interests for Amman in Moscow; economic, military, nuclear reactor, and other issues.

It is not hard at all to be on good terms with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Moscow, and Washington at the same time; during the cold war, Jordan’s relations with the two power poles were strong — at the height of the military cooperation with the US, Jordan was also buying weapons from Russia.

When Jordan’s supreme interests are what is guiding our regional and international relationships, all the parties will respect our decisions and understand our position; both those we agree and disagree with.

Jordan’s status and presence in the world is always linked to the policy of options diversity. When our foreign policy were tilting to one side more than the other, our role was lessening.

During these regionally extraordinary and dangerous circumstances Jordan is witnessing now, our options diversity policy is especially important. Essentially, the situation is not suitable for a country like Jordan to rely more on one alliance more than the other.

Alliances are unstable, and are changing due to change in interests. The region is seeing a state of chaos that prevents us from drawing an alliance-roadmap that could last for more than a month.

The instability witnessed by most of the countries in the region could potentially last for a long time, which leaves policy makers with a huge responsibility and forces them to keep up with the constant changes. They need to take the right decision at the right time, and always be prepared to change their course as Jordan’s higher interests dictate.

The task is definitely not easy, and requires high dynamics by the policy makers and the execution team — those who face the question daily: How do we deal with the failure that is stretching from Syria to Palestine as the US administration has almost began mourning its peace efforts?



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.