Jordanian King: We will support a Middle Eastern version of NATO
Jordanian King Abdullah II talks about the possibility of forming a military alliance in the Middle East similar to NATO, and says that the vision of such a military alliance must be very clear.
In an interview with the American CNBC channel, Jordan's King Abdullah II noted that "Jordan is actively working with NATO and considers itself a partner in the alliance, having fought shoulder to shoulder with NATO forces for decades."
Abdullah added, “I would like to see more countries in the region getting involved in this mix. I would be one of the first people to endorse a Middle East NATO,” noting that the vision of such a military alliance must be very clear, and its role must be specific and "the mission statement has to be very, very clear. Otherwise, it confuses everybody.”
Moreover, he continued by saying that besides potential security and military cooperation, the countries of the Middle East have begun working together to address the challenges that have arisen from the war in Ukraine. “All of us are coming together and saying ‘how can we help each other,” which he emphasized is "very unusual for the region.”
When asked about the situation in Palestine and how it affects the vision he is talking about, the Jordanian King said that "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has the ability to obstruct plans and cooperation in the Middle East," adding that “If they’re not talking to each other, that creates insecurities and instability in the region that will affect regional projects.”
In his opinion, Jordan is seeking stability and cooperation with like-minded nations as it is being increasingly faced with challenges because of energy costs, water scarcity, as well as an influx of refugees.
See more: The economic toll of normalization
Middle Eastern NATO and Israeli goals
Earlier in the year, Tal Kalman, Head of Military Strategies in the Israeli occupation forces, previously revealed in an interview for Al-Ayam newspaper about a possible establishment of an alliance similar to the NATO that would include “Israel", Bahrain, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Greece, and several other countries.
Commenting on Kalman's statement, Bennett indicated that over recent years, the Israeli occupation has strengthened its security cooperation with Arab and non-Arab countries in the region.
The Israeli Prime Minister added that these sides understand that they face the same challenges, "so why not work together to tackle them?"
This echoes the Jordanian King's opinions meaning that similar-minded governments are those that are pro-normalization in the region. A similar offer was made to the Gulf states as Israeli media outlets pointed out that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett proposed a military initiative aiming to establish a Gulf version of NATO, of which "Israel" would be a part. All these offers were made to countries that have been on the path toward normalization for years.