March 31st 2013 in Briefings International Relations

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan received a visit from Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird this week, whose discussions with King Abdullah II focused on the Syria crisis next door. Baird also pledged $13 million in aid to Jordan on the first leg of his twelve-day long Middle East tour. Jordan shut its main border crossing with Syria on March 25, as fighting between government troops and rebels reached a fever pitch in the area. US officials also confirmed that American intelligence are training secular Syrian rebels in an undisclosed location in the kingdom. On the political front, King Abdullah II swore in the smallest government in decades on March 31, which will be charged to push through unpopular austerity measures in order to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund to stabilize the deflated Jordanian economy. (March 25 – Jerusalem Post; March 25 – Huffington Post; March 31 – The Globe and Mail; March 31 – Al-Jazeera