Country Listing

Jordan Table of Contents


Relations with Other Countries

In the years after independence, Jordan followed a generally pro-Western foreign policy as a result of its special relationship with Britain, to which the Hashimite Kingdom owed its existence and which became the principal supplier of financial and other aid. Jordan's special relationship with Britain ended, for all practical purposes, in 1957, when the Anglo-Jordanian Treaty of 1948 was terminated by mutual agreement. Thereafter, the United States became actively involved in Jordan, replacing Britain as the principal Western source of foreign aid and political support but without treaty commitments. Nevertheless, Britain and Jordan continued to maintain cordial relations. Hussein made annual official visits to London to discuss Middle East policy. In 1984, Queen Elizabeth II made the first trip ever by a British monarch to Jordan. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher subsequently visited Amman in 1985. During the 1980s, Britain again became a major weapons supplier for Jordan. As of 1989, the most recent sale (in September 1988) was an agreement to provide Jordan with the advanced Tornado aircraft.

In 1989 Jordan maintained friendly relations with the Soviet Union. Amman first established relations with Moscow in 1963. Two years later, Jordan signed its first cultural and technical cooperation agreement with the Soviet Union. Hussein made his first state visit to Moscow in the wake of the June 1967 War. Since then there have been numerous exchanges of high-level visits, including several official trips by Hussein. Jordan has purchased military equipment from the Soviet Union periodically since 1980 as part of a policy to diversify military supply sources. In 1985 Jordan bought a major Soviet air defense system after the United States Congress canceled a planned sale of Stinger antiaircraft missiles to the country. Jordan and the Soviet Union have signed several accords pertaining to cultural, economic, and scientific cooperation. In his advocacy of an international peace conference to deal with the occupied Palestinian territories, Hussein has insisted that the Soviet Union be included.

In 1989 Jordan had friendly relations with most other countries, including those in both Eastern Europe and Western Europe. The major exception was Iran, with which Jordan had severed diplomatic relations in 1981 as a demonstration of solidarity with Iraq. The countries of the European Economic Community and Japan were major sources of Jordan's imports. France also sold weapons to Jordan, including twenty Mirage-2000 aircraft in 1988.

Data as of December 1989