Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed holds talks with King Abdullah in Amman

The two men discussed potential Saudi investment in Jordan

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Amman on Tuesday night on an official visit marking improved relations between the two US allies, who have been at odds over some Middle Eastern issues.

Jordanian state television footage showed King Abdullah receiving Prince Mohammed at Amman's Queen Alia International Airport.

King Abdullah and Prince Mohammed held talks at the Husseiniya Palace on the western outskirts in Amman and discussed possible Saudi investments in Jordan, as well as the Palestinian issue, the official Jordanian news agency said.

It quoted Prince Mohammed as saying the goal of the talks was to "push for a new phase of co-operation" between the countries.

King Abdullah described Saudi Arabia as playing a "pivotal role" in deepening inter-Arab cooperation, the agency said.

King Abdullah and Prince Mohammed last met in March 2021, when the king visited Prince Mohammed in Riyadh to check on him after appendicitis surgery.

Prince Mohammed flew into Amman from Cairo, the first stop of a regional tour that will also take him to Turkey.

Saudi and Egyptian officials signed agreements valued at $7.7 billion in Cairo and the prince held talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, official media said.

Saudi Arabia is also a major investor in Jordan and the two countries are close US allies.

Amman and Riyadh have differed in recent years over how to deal with the Syrian regime of Bashar Al Assad and other regional issues, as Jordan became a transit centre for Captagon smuggled from Syria to Arabia.

The Jordanian military said on Tuesday it foiled a Captagon smuggling attempt form from Syria and seized 678,000 pills of the drug "in continuation of the efforts by the armed forces to preserve security".

Jordan's economy has been stagnant or retreating for the last 12 years, and unemployment is officially at a record high at around 23 per cent.

But this month the Jordanian government announced that it had awarded a 25-year concession to build a $400 million hospital and private university near Amman to a company mostly owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

Foreign investment in Jordan peaked at $3.6 billion in 2006. It fell to $726 million in 2021 from 718 million in 2020, UN and World Bank data shows.

Prince Mohammed arrived in Egypt on Monday night. He is due to fly from Amman to Turkey on Wednesday.

Updated: June 22, 2022, 8:21 AM
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