Celeste Wallander, the US assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, described Jordan as an important regional ally for Washington, the Jordan News Agency reported on Tuesday.
Speaking during an official visit to the country, she said: “We see Jordan as a key and strategic partner in the region. US defense relations with it are based on cooperation that dates back for many years, and the annual joint drills are the best example of that and they are one of the reasons for my visit.”
Wallander added that as part of its relationship with Jordan, the US aims to help strengthen the institutional and military capabilities of the Jordanian Armed Forces.
“Enhancing military capabilities in joint exercises, maneuvers and operations contributes to strengthening our joint security, and Jordan’s pivotal role in regional security,” she said.
Asked about Washington’s view of Jordan’s position in a region facing various conflicts and crises, Wallander said the US is proud to cooperate with the nation. She added that her country recognizes the urgent security and regional challenges Jordan faces, including securing its borders and combating all forms of smuggling, the threat posed by Daesh, and, more recently, the actions of Iran that could undermine regional security.
“Jordan has always been, and remains, a strong partner,” said Wallander. “Jordanian cooperation is not only with our armed forces but also with many countries, regionally and internationally. Jordan is a partner you can rely on, as it thinks in a way that enables it to move forward. We are proud of this partnership.”
Jordan has demonstrated it is a valuable strategic partner and has built many international relationships, she added. The relationship between the US and Jordan is founded on mutual respect and trust among the leaders and individuals on both sides, Wallander said.
The joint military exercises that they regularly take part in mean “that we understand each other well and we will then be able to respond to the Syrian crisis and your internal challenges,” she added.
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