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The King of Jordan says he will support a Middle East version of NATO

Written by Javed Iqbal

Jordan’s King Abdullah II said he would support the formation of a Middle East military alliance similar to NATO, and that it could be done with like-minded countries.

The Kingdom is actively working with NATO and sees itself as one alliance partner, after fighting “shoulder-to-shoulder” with NATO troops for decades, the monarch told CNBC Hadley Gamble on Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

Cooperation in the region

In addition to potential security and military cooperation, countries in the Middle East are beginning to work together to address the challenges posed by the war in Ukraine, the king said.

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

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

Energy and commodity prices have risen sharply following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Jordan is an energy importer, but Abdullah noted that a nation with oil, but without wheat, will also need help.

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

Thomas Kronsteiner | Getty Images News | Getty Images

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

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

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

Roadblocks?

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Javed Iqbal

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