News / Middle East

US Supports Jordan's King Abdullah Over Fuel Protests

Jordan's King Abdullah (Oct. 2012 photo)Jordan's King Abdullah (Oct. 2012 photo)
Jordan's King Abdullah (Oct. 2012 photo)
Jordan's King Abdullah (Oct. 2012 photo)
The United States is supporting long-time ally, Jordanian King Abdullah, who is facing protests over higher fuel prices. King Abdullah's political opponents are boycotting January's parliamentary vote because of an electoral law that they say favors the monarch's supporters.

Jordan's government says higher prices for heating and cooking gas are needed to shrink its budget deficit and secure a $2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

The announcement sparked protests across the kingdom, where there have been increasingly-frequent anti-government demonstrations during the past two years, spurred in part by changes to electoral laws.

King Abdullah has outlined a series of reforms, including greater parliamentary powers and broader civil liberties.  But most of his leading opponents are refusing to take part in January's parliamentary elections because they say the new rules make it harder for them to win seats.

U.S. State Department Spokesman Mark Toner says the Obama administration believes King Abdullah is on the right track despite the protests.

"We call on protestors to do so peacefully. We support King Abdullah II's roadmap for reform and the aspirations of the Jordanian people to foster a more inclusive political process that will promote security, stability as well as economic development," Toner said.

Officially, unemployment in Jordan is between 12 and 14 percent.  But experts say it could be as high as 30 percent.  Jordan's national debt is equal to about 10 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, underscoring the kingdom's need for new IMF loans.

"There are concerns -- economic, political concerns, aspirations -- by the Jordanian people.  We believe that King Abdullah's roadmap for reform addresses these.  But certainly, as we've seen elsewhere, there is a thirst for change," the spokesman said.

Analysts say that public discontent in Jordan comes at a crucial time in the region, with Syrian rebels fighting troops loyal to embattled President Bashar al-Assad.  Some of the violence has spilled across the border into Lebanon.  More than 88,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Jordan.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Nora Oliver from: USA
November 16, 2012 6:14 PM
the Americans, without doubt, have great information gathering capabilities... but they suffer from idiotic Arabist interpretation of information... people like Vali Naser... Fouad Ajami... Walid Phares... these are a roster of Arab imbeciles with genetic malformation... who did not see the development in Tunis, nor of those in Libya, nor these in the Algiers... Egypt, and now Gaza... and soon Jordan...

by: Anika from: Germany
November 16, 2012 3:54 PM
to all the Jordanians here... your king is not supported by the US nor Israel nor the UK... they all know how deplorably corrupt he is... he is weak but he knows how to lie to you as if he is supported by bigger powers like the US/Israel/UK... he is not supported by any of them... he is weak and just posturing to cower you into submission...

by: Anonymous
November 16, 2012 3:47 PM
this king of thieves and corruption has dozens of palaces all over the world... while we have nothing to eat!!!

by: Anonymous from: Jordan
November 16, 2012 3:24 PM
where is he??? where is the coward??? where are the Billions of Dollars he stole from Jordan??? soon we will have a country six times the size of Israel...

by: Anonymous
November 16, 2012 9:16 AM
come on... we all know that this guy is finished... soon the "Palestinians" will take over Jordan... and we will have to sent UN "observers" to watch the slaughter of the family of this degenerate "king"

by: Anonymous from: Jordan
November 15, 2012 9:30 PM
only US/Israel can save this coward... here he is finished

by: Anonymous
November 15, 2012 8:00 PM
what a sick joke... if you think that oil subsidies are going to save this "king" you are compromising your position !!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs