New US-Jordan Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Foreign Assistance to Jordan

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi signed agreements in Amman Jordan on Wednesday despite repeated threats from the United States to punish countries that don't agree with its policy in the Middl

Jordan will receive $1.275 billion per year under the deal, which is a $275 million annual increase over the value entailed in previous memorandum of understanding.

Talks during the meeting also dealt with the Middle East peace process, where His Majesty stressed the importance of intensifying regional and worldwide efforts to re-launch negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis based on the two-state solution that should lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. He is not stopping in Israel or the Palestinian territories.

In the wake of the U.N. General Assembly vote on the administration's Jerusalem decision, Trump and Haley questioned whether aid to the Palestinians was worth the expense and whether the U.S should continue to assist countries that did not support the administration's position.

A United States decision to cut funding for a UN agency that provides education and health services to Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East has further soured relations, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and others openly declaring that the USA has forfeited its traditional role as a mediator in the peace process.

Jordan voted in December to condemn the USA for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and has criticized the US for withholding millions in funding for Palestinian refugees, many of whom live in Jordan.

There is broad global consensus that the issue of Jerusalem's status should be resolved mutually toward the very end of negotiations.

Tillerson downplayed the significance of the embassy move, saying the decision "was about the United States... and where we choose to place our embassy". "I think our final objectives are quite clear and are shared and those are unchanged".

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Tillerson was in Lebanon on a brief stopover amid a growing dispute between Lebanon and its southern neighbor, Israel, over oil and gas reserves, and Israel's construction of a border wall that Lebanon says encroaches on its territory.

The U.S. embassy said on its Twitter page that Tillerson "discussed with Aoun and Foreign Affairs Minister Jebran Bassil the U.S".

"It'll be up to the president to decide when he feels it's time and he's ready to put that plan forward".

The Lebanese presidency denied there was any departure from protocol and Rafik Chalala, who heads Aoun's media office, said Tillerson had arrived a few minutes earlier than expected and that the meeting began on time. The Trump administration has burden-sharing in aid a central part of its "America First" strategy.

He also said Hezbollah's growing arsenal was a threat to Lebanon's security and called on the Iranian-backed militia to cease its activities overseas to help reduce tensions in the region.

Earlier in the day, the secretary met with Syrian opposition members in a closed-door meeting to discuss developments in the country after the Sochi conference, which was organized last month by Russian Federation to seek a resolution for the crisis ravaging the country, now on the eve of its eighth year.

"I have seen the plan, the elements of the plan", Tillerson said in Jordan during a Wednesday news conference.

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