Jordan’s King Abdullah said he would support the formation of a NATO-like military alliance in the Middle East, and that it can be done with like-minded countries.
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Jordan’s King Abdullah II said he would support the formation of a NATO-like military alliance in the Middle East, and that it can be done with like-minded countries.
The kingdom works actively with NATO and sees itself as an alliance partner, having fought “shoulder to shoulder” 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 people to endorse 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
In addition to potential military and security cooperation, Middle Eastern countries are starting to work together to address the challenges that have arisen from the war in Ukraine, the king said.
“We’re all getting together and saying ‘how can we help each other,'” he said.
“Help each other,” he emphasized, “which I think is very unusual for the region.”
Energy and commodity prices soared after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Jordan is an energy importer, but Abdullah noted that a nation with oil but no wheat would also need help.
Countries in the region recognize that the goal needs to be a win-win solution, he said.
“If I’m okay and you’re not, I’ll end up paying the price” because regional projects will be affected, he said.
“I hope what you’re seeing in 2022 is this new vibe, I think, in the region to say ‘how can we connect and work with each other,'” he added.