Readout of Secretary Hagel’s Meeting with Prince Feisal and Chief of Defense General Mashal Al-Zaben of Jordan, April 23, 2013

JORDAN–(ENEWSPF)–April 23, 2013.  Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout: 

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited Jordan today to meet with His Royal Highness Lt. Gen. Prince Feisal and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces Gen. Mashal al-Zaben. 

During the meeting, Secretary Hagel reaffirmed the closeness of the U.S.-Jordan strategic relationship and reiterated the Department of Defense’s commitment to working with the Jordanian armed forces to address common challenges.  The United States and Jordan share mutual concerns about the ongoing crisis in Syria and continue to consult closely on a number of issues including chemical weapons and the demands posed by the influx of Syrian refugees fleeing the violence.  Secretary Hagel noted that Jordan remains one of the United States most important partners in the region. 

The leaders also discussed the secretary’s decision to sustain U.S. military personnel in Jordan in order to foster even closer planning, improve joint readiness, and prepare for a wide range of scenarios.  The secretary, Prince Feisal and Gen. al-Zaben agreed to continue to work closely together to support mutual objectives, develop capacity, and provide military assistance to the Jordanian armed forces as necessary. 

Secretary Hagel also commended Jordan on its decision to keep its borders open to refugees fleeing the violence in Syria.  Jordan is currently hosting nearly 500,000 Syrian refugees.  In addition to the approximately $409 million in humanitarian assistance the United States has provided to those affected by the violence in Syria, the Department of Defense has provided over $1.2 million in goods directly through the Jordanian armed forces to help assist in the care and transportation of refugees coming across the border.  This includes items such as food, water, medical supplies, and power generators.  Additionally, the Department of Defense has provided over $70 million to Jordan this year to help secure its borders and help prevent any chemical weapons transfer.