By Mohammad Ghazal – Jul 30,2018 – JORDAN TIMES
AMMAN — Jordan on Sunday said it was looking into a US proposal to form an alliance of Arab states to address security and defence challenges facing the region.
“There is currently a dialogue with the US in this regard and some ideas are being discussed to set some mechanisms for an alliance and for coordination between the US and the countries in the region to face common challenges,” a government official told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday.
The source said the US has already presented several ideas that are currently being assessed and studied, adding that no decision has been made yet in this regard.
On Saturday, Reuters reported that the Trump administration was quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the region, according to US and Arab officials.
The White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defence, military training, counterterrorism and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and diplomatic ties, sources told the agency.
The plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an “Arab NATO” of Sunni Muslim allies will likely raise tensions between the United States and Shiite Iran, two countries increasingly at odds since President Donald Trump took office.
The administration’s hope is that the effort, tentatively known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), might be discussed at a summit provisionally scheduled for Washington on October 12-13, several sources said.