US senator says $6B in aid for Jordan likely to rise

February 20, 2018 GMT

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The chairman of a U.S. Senate panel dealing with foreign aid says a recently signed agreement granting Jordan $1.275 billion a year through 2022 “is a floor” and that Congress is likely to authorize additional financial support for the kingdom.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, was among seven senators visiting Jordan, a key U.S. security ally in the region.

Graham told reporters Tuesday that he hopes everyone in the U.S. “understands how important it is for this kingdom to survive.”

He says the senators will talk to the International Monetary Fund “about taking some pressure off” Jordan regarding economic austerity measures.

Jordan has suffered an economic downturn and rising unemployment, raising fears of growing instability, in part because of fallout from conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq.