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Jordan’s king says he would back a Middle Eastern version of NATO


King Abdullah of Jordan said he would support the formation of a military alliance in the Middle East similar to NATO, and that this can be done with like-minded countries.

Thomas Kronsteiner | Getty Images News | Getty Images

King Abdullah II of Jordan has said he would support the formation of a military alliance in the Middle East similar to NATO, and that this can be done with like-minded countries.

The kingdom is actively working with NATO and sees itself as an alliance partner, having fought “neck to neck” with NATO troops for decades, the monarch told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Wednesday.

“I would like to see more countries in the region get into this mix,” he said.

“I would be one of the first to support a NATO in the Middle East,” Abdullah said.

But the vision of such a military alliance must be very clear, and its role must be well defined, he added.

“The mission statement has to be very, very clear. Otherwise it confuses everyone,” he said.

Cooperation in the region

Besides potential security and military cooperation, countries in the Middle East are beginning to work together to address the challenges that have arisen from the war in Ukraine, the king said.

“We all get together and say ‘how can we help each other,'” he said.

“Helping each other,” he stressed, “which I think is very unusual for the region.”

Energy and commodity prices soared following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Jordan is an energy importer, but Abdullah noted that a nation with oil but no wheat will also need help.

Countries in the region recognize that the goal must be a win-win solution, he said.

“If I’m okay and you’re not, I’m going to end up paying the price” because regional projects will be affected, he said.

“I hope what you see in 2022 is this new vibe, I guess, in the region to say ‘how can we connect with each other and work with each other,'” he said. added.

Roadblocks?

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