Jordan receives 400 million dollars in Saudi aid
Jordan on Thursday received a grant of 400 million dollars from Saudi Arabia to help the country cope with its growing financial difficulties, Finance Minister Mohammad Abu Hammour said.
"The donation reflects the understanding of brotherly and friendly countries of the kingdom's economic burdens," Abu Hammour said in a statement carried by the official Petra news agency.
He pointed out that the Saudi aid would be used in reducing the country's expanding public budget deficit, which is expected to exceed 2 billion dollars in fiscal 2011, DPA reported.
The Hashemite Kingdom is facing an unprecedented public budget gap this year due to steeply rising energy prices and the government's decision not to pass the hike in oil prices on to citizens out of fear that such move could lead to an escalation of demonstrations demanding reform that swept the country over the past four months.
Saudi Arabia has reportedly adopted a proposal for admitting cash-strapped Jordan to the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
According to Gulf media, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh is due to meet his GCC counterparts in Riyadh on Saturday to start negotiations on the terms under which Jordan would join the bloc of Arab hereditary monarchies.