US increases aid to Jordan to $1bn a year

US increases aid to Jordan to $1bn a year
2 min read
04 February, 2015
The announcement came just before the killing of a Jordanian pilot was revealed.
Judeh and Kerry sign the US-Jordanian memorandum of understanding [AFP]
The annual US aid package to Jordan will be increased from $660 million to $1 billion, it was revealed yesterday, during a visit by Jordan's King Abdullah to Washington.

The decision was announced shortly before a video was released, showing Jordanian air force pilot Lieutenant Moaz al-Kassasbeh being burned alive by the Islamic State group (IS, formerly known as Isis).

US President Barack Obama condemned the "barbaric" execution, saying it would "redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of our global
     The increase in aid will help Jordan fight IS, and support refugees from Syria and Iraq.
coalition to make sure they [IS] are degraded and ultimately defeated".

Before the video's release, King Abdullah held intensive talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

They are understood to have discussed the war on IS in Iraq and Syria, the strengthening the international military coalition against IS, and ways to support the refugees who had fled to Jordan from Syria.

The decision to boost the aid package was announced at the Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown, Washington, during the signing of a US-Jordan memorandum of understanding by Kerry and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

The two countries signed their first MoU in 2008.

After the signing, Kerry learned of Kassasbeh's execution.

"Jordanian First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh represented everything that ISIL is not: he was brave, compassionate, and principled," he said in tribute.

Reaffirming US support for the Arab coalition fighting the IS group, he said the killing of the pilot was a reminder to the world that the only agenda of the IS group was to kill and destroy.

Kassasbeh was captured on 24 December 2014, after his jet fighter crashed during an air raid on IS strongholds in the de facto capital of IS territory - Raqqa, Syria.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.