Hillary offers support to Jordan in `difficult times`

Hillary Clinton has offered support to Jordan King Abdullah in "difficult times" as the Arab nation witnesses agitations for political and economic reforms.

Last Updated: Feb 04, 2011, 10:30 AM IST

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton has offered support to Jordan King Abdullah in
"difficult times" as the Arab nation witnesses agitations for
political and economic reforms.

In her 15 minute call, Clinton indicated that US looks
forward to working with the new Jordanian Prime Minister and
his cabinet. Following protests, the King had sacked the
government of Samir Rifai and named Maruf Bakhit, a career
soldier and former premier, as the new Prime Minister.

"We are eager to continue to support Jordan during
these difficult times. The Secretary noted in the call that we
appreciate the example that Jordan has set in allowing freedom
of expression during recent protests," State Department
spokesman P J Crowley said.

US will support Jordan`s efforts to undertake
political and economic reform, Crowley said. "The Secretary
said recently following her bilateral meeting with (the
Jordanian) Foreign Minister Judeh, we have a very important
programme of economic assistance to Jordan. That`s going to
continue. So we will continue to work with Jordan to see how
we can support, you know, these reform efforts," he said.

Observing that Jordan is a significant partner in the
Arab region, he said King Abdullah, just like his father King
Hussein and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, has been a
strong supporter and participant in the efforts to pursue
peace in Middle East.

"Notwithstanding the ongoing change or transformation
that may be occurring across the region, our interests remain
the same. And it is our interests that guide our relationship.

We have a very strong relationship with King Abdullah.
"We will look forward to working with his new cabinet,
but we have this strong partnership because we have many
shared interests," the spokesman said.

Crowley said the Jordan King recognises the importance
of increasing demand across the region for political and
economic reform. "He`s doing his best to respond to this
growing aspiration. We appreciate the leadership that he`s
shown. But clearly for all countries in the region words have
to be followed by decisive action."

PTI