US backs $1.25 billion loan to Jordan

Jordan on Thursday closed on a $1.25 billion loan guaranteed by the U.S. government, a crucial financial crutch for an important Middle Eastern ally buffeted by the civil war in Syria.

The seven-year Jordanian sovereign bond was supported by a 100 percent guarantee of the repayment of principal and interest by the U.S. government. Congress authorized the loan guarantee program in its 2012 appropriations bill for the State Department and foreign operations.

“This guarantee reinforces the firm U.S. commitment to the people of Jordan by strengthening the Government of Jordan’s ability to maintain access to international financing, while enabling it to achieve its economic development and reform goals,” the State Department said in a statement Thursday.

The bond guarantee fulfills a promise made by President Obama when he visited Jordan in March.

The U.S. guarantee, Obama said at the time, “can help deliver the results that Jordanians deserve … to see their schools better, their roads improved, healthcare, clean water all enhanced, the training that I know a lot of Jordanians seek, particularly young people, to get a job or to turn entrepreneurial skills into a business that creates even more jobs.” The loan guarantee agreement was signed in Amman in August.

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