Three outstanding files for Amman and Washington to discuss

Maher Abu Tair
Maher Abu Tair (Photo: Jordan News)
His Majesty King Abdullah will visit the US late this month, or at the beginning of July, and will be the first Arab leader to meet the new American president, after the latter came into office.اضافة اعلان

The King’s schedule will be busy, as on the sidelines of the visit, he will participate in the Sun Valley Forum, where the King will meet many personalities. His Majesty is also scheduled to hold talks with members of the US Congress and congressional committees, in addition to the meeting with the president, a longtime friend of Jordan who looks at Jordan with respect and as a friend in a region mired in challenges.

One of most important issues that will be raised during the visit is related to the internal situation in Jordan, especially the economy, and the need to stand by the Kingdom to help it address its economic woes. In addition, there is the need for a stable Arab region, and the related political role of Jordan in the region.

Bilateral ties will also be on the agenda at their different levels, including political relations, the alliance between the two countries, and the nature of the future relationship. Undoubtedly, the issue of political reform and the promotion of democracy will be top the talks’ agenda, in light of the Democrats’ interest in this issue and related matters, such as human rights and other details.

The second issue has to do with the Palestinian cause, the peace process, and the extent to which Washington's can push for new negotiations. What is certain here is that Washington will listen to the Jordanian point of view and the risks inherent, especially in the issue of Jerusalem and the practices of Israeli governments. During the recent visit of the US secretary of state to Jordan, he listened to the King’s views on several issues, and asked for His Majesty’s opinion regarding what should be done in the Middle East, especially concerning the Palestinian issue, and the crises created by the Israeli government.

Jordan's international relations are excellent, especially with the Europeans and Americans, and they have contributed a lot to strengthening Jordan's stability, amid a volatile region, where entire state structures have failed, bilateral relations have been damaged, and crises have emerged. What can be said here is that Jordan is viewed in a positive light, and this has greatly contributed to a stronger Jordan in this challenging landscape.

There are many regional issues on the table, Syria in particular, which may be considered an important point among the regional issues to be discussed. Everyone realizes that the current US administration is stricter in its approach to Damascus.

It may be important for Jordan bring up the US Caesar Act, which imposes sanctions on the Syrians, and causes harm to them, just as it causes harm to Jordan, especially on the economic level. Jordan may ask for exemptions from these sanctions, which was done during the time of Iraq sanctions.

Jordan secured several exceptions then, in light of the need for the Jordanian economy to survive. History repeats itself with the Syrian episode, due to intertwined relations and the history and geography of both countries.

As long as we are talking about the Syrian issue, indications show gradual changes in the Jordanian political decision-making, as Amman seems willing gradual open to the Syrians. There are unannounced contacts at high levels, and it is expected that we will witness mutual technical visits at the ministerial level of the two countries, while Washington's tough stance on the Syrians has an impact on the entire region.

This is a great opportunity for the King to discuss Jordan's interests, and perhaps talk about some issues in the region, on behalf of the region, which is also facing a different situation in light of ongoing international conflicts.

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