Jordan’s king says Ukraine war exposes need for ‘Middle East NATO’


Staff member
Jordan’s king says Ukraine war exposes need for ‘Middle East NATO’
But Abdullah warns Palestinian issue a potential roadblock to the idea, says Russia’s focus on its invasion has created destabilizing vacuum filled by Iran-backed militias in Syria
By TOI staff

Jordan’s King Abdullah has raised the possibility of forming a military alliance in the Middle East similar to NATO, while pointing to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a potential roadblock to such an initiative. In an interview with CNBC released on Friday, the monarch said he would “be one of the first people [who] would endorse a Middle East version” of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, noting the growing importance of regional cooperation in light of the challenges created by the war in Ukraine.

“All of us are coming together and saying, ‘how can we help each other,’” he said, noting that cooperation is “very unusual for the region,” better known for near-constant strife. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but Russia’s invasion and a blockade of its ports have halted much of that flow, endangering food supplies to many developing countries, especially in Africa and the Middle East. Abdullah said Middle Eastern countries now realize that working together will eventually serve their own respective goals, also calling for more sharing of resources.