Author: APSat, 2018-06-09 (All day)ID: 1528525478087753800
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said it will host a meeting among several Gulf Arab countries on June 10 to offer support to Jordan after mass protests took over the capital due to economic problems and its plans to tax its citizens, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reproted.
The Saudi Royal Court said the meeting in Makkah on Sunday would include Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
A statement early Saturday on the state-run Saudi Press Agency said the meeting would “discuss means of supporting Jordan to overcome its current crisis.”
The announcement came after Saudi Arabias King Salman held phone conversations with Jordans King Abdullah II, Kuwaits Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
Jordans King Abdullah II has replaced the countrys prime minister over the protests.
Jordan is struggling to curb its debt after securing a $723-million loan from the International Monetary Fund in 2016.
Austerity measures tied to the loan have seen prices of basic necessities rise across the kingdom — culminating in a week of angry protests over tax proposals that forced prime minister Hani Mulki to resign.
The authorities on Thursday announced they were withdrawing the unpopular legislation, but still face a mammoth task to balance popular demands with the need to reduce the public debt burden.
Jordan blames its economic woes on instability rocking the region and the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn Syria, complaining it has not received enough international support.
The World Bank says Jordan has "weak growth prospects" this year, while 18.5 percent of the working age population is unemployed.
(With AP, AFP)