Jordan. In June, King Abdullah dismissed Abd ar-Rauf Rawabda from the post of prime minister and appointed Liberal MP Ali Abu Raghib a new head of government. The nomination was welcomed by reform friends. Raghib appointed a new government in which nine of the 29 ministers had a Palestinian background and three were deemed to have Islamic sympathies.
At a previous government transformation in January, several political heavyweights had to leave the government.
6,000 protesters marched through the capital on February 14, demanding harsher punishment against men who, in the name of honor, murder female relatives. The demonstration was conducted since Parliament twice voted down a bill that would have tightened the penalty for this type of crime. The protesters were led by the king’s half-brother, Prince Ali.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Jordan. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
Six members of the banned al-Qa’idah group were sentenced to death in September for preparing terrorist attacks against US and Israeli targets in connection with the centenary of the millennium. However, four of them had been brought to trial in their absence. 16 other members of al-Qa’idah were sentenced to long prison terms.
On February 7, 1999, King Hussein died. Prior to that, he had changed his legacy, removed his brother Hassan and incarcerated his son from the first marriage, Abdullah, at 37.
By Abdullah II’s takeover of the throne, Jordan was in a Palestinian-Israeli peace process that had stalled and with neighboring Iraq facing North American attacks. Domestic politics was in a serious economic crisis, while the political parties demanded greater government opening. Official unemployment figures were over 30%, foreign exchange reserves were depleted and the budget deficit had risen from 2% in 1997 to 6% in 98. As the country has only scarce natural resources, trade is the main economic activity and it was free as as a result of the embargo on Iraq and the economic crisis in Asia.
The new king followed a tradition his father had instituted. He appeared disguised in various parts of the country, to see with his own eyes the places and conditions that usually fell outside the official public. But even without disguise, the first months of the year he unexpectedly appeared in hospitals, border posts and other public places to experience the situation with his own eyes.
The death of a young man in police custody in the southern city of Maan in January 2002 triggered the worst riots in 3 years. According to the boy’s family, he had been tortured by police who accused him of raping and subsequently found photos of Osama bin Laden and Palestinian martyrs from the Intifada in his pockets.
In continuation of the alliance policy with the United States, in February 2002, King Abdullah supported Bush’s characterization of Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the Axis of Evil. In relation to Israel, however, the tone was less conciliatory. In March, Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher called on the Israeli ambassador, who was threatened that Jordan would take action after Israel destroyed the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah. Jordan also requested the UN Security Council to send a peacekeeping force to the Palestinian territories.
In August, diplomatic problems arose with Qatar. The occasion was a broadcast on the TV station Al-Jazeera. The crisis peaked when Jordan withdrew his ambassador from Qatar and closed Al-Jazeera’s offices in Amman.
In September, Jordan and Israel signed an agreement for the implementation of a project worth $ 800 million. US $. The project consists of transporting water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, whose water level is still falling. The project is the largest so far between the two countries.
In October, North American diplomat Laurence Foley was gunned down in the street in front of his house in Amman. It was the first murder of a Western diplomat in the country’s history.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Jordan in 2000 was 5,122,382, ranking number 109 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.220% yearly, and the population density was 57.6987 people per km2.