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)
x
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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid