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Introduction: Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 war and defeated Palestinian rebels who attempted to...

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Economic Overview: The Jordanian economy is small and narrowly based, but a series of reforms are positioning it as an emerging regional centre.

The King has prioritised economic reform as a means to reduce unemployment and poverty, including through public sector reform and trade liberalisation. Structural reforms have been aimed at promoting private sector-led growth and foreign investment, while reducing the direct government role in the economy.

Over the last decade, Jordan has concluded free trade agreements with a number of countries, including the United States,the European Union, Canada, Singapore, Bahrain, ...

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History: The land that became Jordan is part of the richly historical Fertile Crescent region. Around 2000 B.C., Semitic Amorites settled around the Jordan River in the area called Canaan. Subsequent invaders and settlers included Hittites, Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arab Muslims, Christian Crusaders, Mameluks, Ottoman Turks, and, finally, the British. At the ...

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International Relations: Jordan's relations with the UK

Britain has, and is committed to maintaining a long-standing and close relationship with Jordan. Defence relations are an important part of this. Since 1993, joint military exercises have taken place and Royal Navy ships pay regular visits to Aqaba.

In July 2002, the UK helped to support a debt rescheduling agreement as a result of the Paris Club discussions. This agreement enables Jordan to reschedule debts to lender states. In January 2008 the UK and other Paris Club members agreed a $2 billion debt settlement with Jordan. Jordan and the UK are also close partners in ...

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The Jordan Valley provides abundant archaeological evidence of occupation by paleolithic and mesolithic hunters and gatherers. A people of neolithic culture, similar to that found around the Mediterranean littoral, introduced agriculture in the region. By the eighth millennium B.C., this neolithic culture had developed into a sedentary way of life. Settlements at Bayda on the East Bank and ...

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Area Handbook Series
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