Secretary of Protection Lloyd J. Austin III met Sunday with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan as a part of a multi-day tour of associate nations within the Center East, emphasizing the persevering with U.S. dedication to Center Japanese associate nations in addition to discussing methods to reinforce current relationships and strengthen safety cooperation efforts.
As a part of the assembly, the 2 leaders mentioned a variety of shared considerations, together with safety in close by Iraq, the move of unlawful narcotics within the area, Syria, the escalating tensions within the West Financial institution and Jerusalem, and dealing in direction of an enduring peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The secretary additionally reaffirmed the U.S. dedication to deepen financial and army cooperation between the 2 international locations. That dedication is underpinned by the Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Partnership between the USA and Jordan, which was signed in September 2022. As a part of that settlement, the U.S. pledges to offer $1.45 billion per yr in bilateral overseas help to Jordan for seven years.
The first focus of Austin’s go to was to guarantee leaders equivalent to King Abdullah that whereas the U.S. has pursuits in different components of the world — together with each Russia and China — it stays a deeply dedicated associate not simply to Jordan however to different nations within the Center East and desires to assist collaboratively remedy shared safety considerations.
“[We want] to reassure our companions that we’re right here for the long-term. We’re going to be by their facet going ahead, it doesn’t matter what,” Austin stated. “We have seen nice partnerships over the … final a number of many years. And people partnerships have, actually, created larger stability in our area.”
Already within the Center East, Austin stated, the U.S. army has greater than 34,000 troops collaborating in shared safety cooperation efforts. Throughout his go to, he met with a few of these troops who personify the continued U.S. dedication to partnership.
“My view is the troops look fairly gosh darn good,” Austin stated. “They usually’re fairly enthusiastic about what they’re doing every day.”
Along with a troop presence within the Center East, the U.S. army additionally has a large Air Drive functionality within the area, a succesful naval fleet and air protection capability.
Throughout his assembly with King Abdullah, Austin additionally expressed gratitude for Jordan’s contributions to regional safety cooperation, together with efforts to facilitate built-in maritime, air and missile protection cooperation with allies and companions. Interoperability of issues like data sharing capabilities amongst Center Japanese nations is one thing the secretary stated he’d be discussing with each chief he meets and it is one thing the U.S. is dedicated to.
“As we transfer ahead and issues evolve, the USA will proceed to be a significant participant in ensuring that we’re working with companions to combine capabilities and enhance area consciousness and to proceed to offer invaluable intelligence sources to our allies and to our companions within the area,” he stated.
One other concern amongst associate nations within the Center East is the continued collection of threats related to Iran, together with the arming, coaching and funding of violent proxy teams, aggression at sea, cyber threats, its ballistic missile program, drone assaults, and the rising army relationship with Russia.
Iran has supplied drones to Russia, which are actually getting used to kill civilians in Ukraine. How the Russians would possibly, in flip, assist the Iranians going ahead is regarding, Austin stated.
“We additionally anticipate that Russia will present know-how again to Iran in return for a number of the assist that they’ve gotten,” Austin stated “And naturally, for those who’re a rustic on this area, you would be very involved about that. And they’re — all of the international locations are very involved about that. So this relationship could be very troubling, and one which we have to control.”