US Congress Approves Weapons Transfers to Jordan
The White House passed legislation on Tuesday that would facilitate US weapons transfers to Jordan in the fight against Islamic State (ISIL) militants.
The measure, which sailed through on a voice vote, would allow the US to treat Jordan in the same way it handles arms transfers to other North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries, according to local press.
Such a designation would expedite congressional review of proposed weapons exchanges.
It would further authorize the State Department to enter into agreements with Jordan to increase financial assistance and military cooperation, subject to the availability of federal funds.
“Congress must do everything that we can to help our friends defend themselves and defeat this scourge of terror,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida.), who authored the legislation.
Jordan has become host to nearly 630,000 Syrian refugees displaced by the war, according to the United Nations.
The US has provided USD 467 million in humanitarian assistance to Jordan as of January 2015 as part of the response to the influx of Syrian refugees. Syrians have also fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq.
Secretary of State John Kerry signed an agreement with the Jordanian government in February that stated an intention to increase US assistance to the country from USD 660 million to USD one billion annually through 2017.