Is Jordan enslaved to the UAE?

Yasin Aktay

It would have a particular importance to watch the developments in the world and in the region from Jordan where we were for the “Committee of Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons” of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. This is because Jordan is a country that has developed a unique survival policy throughout history due to its geographical location and its dependency on the Gulf Countries and foreign aid. Even during the First Gulf War, it had managed to put across its own status as an excuse for its neutrality in the international coalition formed by Bush senior against Iraq, and it succeeded in staying out of the war, -to be more precise- out of the international coalition against Saddam. Withal, it also received an indemnity because of the war.

It never buys into tempered and impulsive tensions in the regional crises, rather, it has always tried to figure out and follow a balanced path. Despite being an ene-my of Israel in terms of official discourse as all the other Arab states are, it never resorts to any policy that will directly disturb Israel. On the contrary, it refrains from using and developing its own natural water and mineral resources within the scope of its peace settlement with Israel.

The English effect which was apparent in its foundation is continuing at the highest level because King Abdullah’s mother is British. In other words, the mother tongue of the King is English and he can speak this language more fluently and accent-free when compared to Arabic. Today, the British effect in the foundation of the Arab states and the subsequent administrations after World War I may not be that evident, yet this is quite perceivable in Jordan. The caution of Jordan in its foreign policy can be attributed to the British mind and impact to some extent.

The waves of the Arab Spring continuing as a domino effect in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen reached Jordan as well. In those days, there were also very substantial public demonstrations.

However, the attitude of the Jordan administration against the demonstrators was different from that of Syria, Egypt and Libya, and they avoided the event’s escalation in a soft manner that understood the anger of the demonstrators.

And to a degree, they directed the outrage aimed at the regime to the government through a government reform. As a matter of fact, this has turned out to be a conventional method to quell the opposition in Jordan. However, the current protests to remove the subsidies on bread and staple products are directly targeting the Kingdom instead of the government for the first time.

And last year, in the Gulf Crisis, which was seen as the biggest regional problem in the Arab world, Jordan at first didn’t want to join the anti-Qatar front established by UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain, but with the pressure of the axis, it reluctantly joined them later on.  However, just as it was expected, it didn’t take hostility to extremes and it always kept relations at a level so that it could be repaired.

It is known that this quadruple alliance does not leave Jordan in peace and wants to see it on their side. This axis, which is led by UAE, is determined to wipe off any democratic Islamic movements on Earth. This alliance, which has devoted its existence to avoid the development of democracy in the Muslim world, is not leaving Jordan alone.

Jordan is one of the rare states of the region where elections somewhat take place, where the legislative parliamentary functions, and where governments are formed considering the vote of the people. Although elections are arranged with a fine adjustment so as to avoid the Muslim Brotherhood from coming to power, the representation of Brotherhood in parliament is still not completely blocked.

Although the Brotherhood-phobia of the alliance led by UAE is wearing a moderate Islam mask, this is certainly a fear of Islam and democracy. This is because the movements supported by this axis is Salafi or Wahhabi movements. In reality, the Brotherhood is the movement that puts the most distance between itself and acts of violence. The words of Muhammad Badii, the leader of the movement in Egypt saying, “Our peaceful movement is more powerful than their bullets,” the most repeated slogan of the Brotherhood movement, reveals their principle of action.

Nevertheless, battling the Brotherhood inevitably necessitates massacring democracy. It necessitates supporting acts of violence be it for an alliance against the Brotherhood or fighting them.

Recently, Jordan suspended the free trade agreement it signed in 2001 with Turkey. The timing of this decision ahead of the visit of UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the country is being interpreted as the subordination of Jordan to this axis. Of course, the officially declared reason was to protect the “domestic industry.” UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah has stated that UAE is ready to help Jordan solve its economic problems and to give support to the investment projects toward development in the meeting with King Abdullah II on March 13. Naturally, this was interpreted as a pledge of support in exchange for the suspension of the free trade agreement with Turkey.

You know the famous idiom: If you see two fish fighting in a river, look around for the British guy who started it. Nowadays, we can repeat the saying by substituting the British with the UAE. If you see any development against Turkey, look around for one of current governors of the UAE. The existence of Turkey in Jordan has already spread to the cultural, historical, geographical and economic depth of society. It is true that the trade deficit is to Turkey’s advantage, but to which country’s disadvantage is this deficit? This matter turning into a problem shows in itself that the UAE is devising a plot against Turkey.

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