3 Gulf Arab states pledge $2.5B to Jordan after protests

The Associated Press

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Three Gulf Arab states have pledged $2.5 billion to Jordan as economic protests over austerity measures have roiled the kingdom.

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced the pledges after an early Monday meeting held in Mecca.

A statement issued from Saudi Arabia said the money would go toward a deposit in Jordan’s Central Bank, cover World Bank guarantees for the kingdom, offer budget support for five years and finance other development projects.

The statement quoted Jordan’s King Abdullah II as saying he hoped the aid would help his country overcome its fiscal crisis.

The pledges mirror a similar aid program offered by Gulf states to Jordan in late 2011.

Jordan’s protests, the largest in years in the U.S.-allied nation, have seen its prime minister sacked.