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Holding a banner with a Turkish and a Palestinian flag, protesters chant anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration near the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 6, 2017 (AP photo).

Fearing Isolation in a Turbulent Region, Jordan and Turkey Inch Closer Together

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jordan announced this week that it was suspending its free trade agreement with Turkey, in order to protect Jordanian companies from what it called “unequal competition” from industries supported by the Turkish government. It looks like a setback in ties between Amman and Ankara, yet the geopolitical picture is more complicated.

Two weeks ago, over consecutive days in late February, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and its highest-ranking military officer, Gen. Hulusi Akar, visited Jordan for meetings meant to signal both countries’ desire to upgrade their bilateral relationship in light of regional developments. A major impetus is undoubtedly the Trump administration’s decision in December to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that unilaterally recognized the contested city as the capital of Israel. ...

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