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Concern Grows Over Jordan As Possible Next Casualty Of Arab Spring

King Abdullah of Jordan

King Abdullah of Jordan

“The Arab Spring has gone very sour and the appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood is not very high today. The situation in Egypt is hurting their image in Jordan and the bloodbath in Syria is not very appealing either for Jordanians,” Susser said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Jordan’s King Abdullah have long had a tenuous relationship. Abdullah, allied closely with the West and Sunni Gulf States, has been wary of Assad’s close relationship with Iran. Nevertheless, Jordan has accepted more than half a million Syrian refugees, who now comprise nearly ten percent of Jordan’s population.

The influx of refugees “is a huge resource drain for the state and is an enormous undertaking,” Adam Coogle, the Amman-based Middle East researcher for Human Rights Watch, told JNS.

Jordan has appealed to the United Nations to assist the country in dealing with the Syrian humanitarian disaster.

“I don’t think people really know where things are headed at this point,” said Coogle. “There is a general idea that the security situation is declining, as well as the major Syrian refugee situation. There is also simmering popular discontent with the pace of reforms and whether or not there have been true reforms at all. In our assessment it is a mixed bag; some reforms have been good and some have not been good.

“Whether or not this will lead to a popular revolt against the monarchy is still an open question.”

(JNS)

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