Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman arrived yesterday in Jordan as ties thaw after years of divergent views, officials said.
The first such visit in years by Saudi Arabia’s leader comes at a time, officials say, when Jordan’s economy is struggling with the economic knock-on effects of the Ukraine war.
“This is an opportunity for a new phase in Jordanian-Saudi ties and to continue a programme of economic projects and new investments,” a senior Jordanian official told Reuters.
Business leaders and officials hope it will unblock at least $3bn of investment projects that Saudi Arabia committed to in recent years but which never materialised.
Saudi Arabia, which once rescued Jordan with cash injections, had held off direct support, and officials said discussions would look at more ways to help Jordan’s economy, which has been battered by rising fuel prices and higher food imports.
Jordan imports most of its energy needs.
Officials say Jordan’s economic strains have worsened with the end of Gulf grants and little extra funds by Western donors in the last few years to cope with sluggish growth and high unemployment.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II stands next to Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman as he welcomes him at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, yesterday.