Speaking Of Asia

Jordan's balancing act

Caught in a troubled neighbourhood, Amman has to balance its domestic and regional priorities with close ties to Washington

Most Mexicans know the saying, "Poor Mexico. So close to the United States, so far from God". These days, you couldn't fault the Jordanians if they have begun to feel the same way.

It is bad enough to be situated in a tough neighbourhood. Since independence in 1946, the small West Asian kingdom surrounded by Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Israel has been subject to waves of refugees, including Iraqis, Palestinians and latterly, a flood of Syrians who now constitute about one in 10 of the resident population.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2019, with the headline 'Jordan's balancing act'. Subscribe