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Hagel Places Jordan Among Most Important Middle East Partners

Compliments of:

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met here today with Jordan’s Lt. Gen. Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein and Gen. Mashal al-Zaben, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Jordanian armed forces, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, meets with Jordan’s Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein in Amman, Jordan, April 23, 2013. Hagel is on a six-day trip to the Middle East, where he is visiting counterparts in Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The United States and Jordan — which Hagel said is one of the most important U.S. partners in the region — share concerns about the crisis in Syria and continue to consult closely on issues including chemical weapons and demands posed by the influx of Syrian refugees fleeing the violence, Little added.

During the meeting, Hagel reaffirmed the closeness of the U.S.-Jordan strategic relationship and reiterated the DOD commitment to working with the Jordanian armed forces to address common challenges, the press secretary said.

The leaders discussed Hagel’s decision, announced April 17, to sustain U.S. military personnel in Jordan to foster even closer planning, improve joint readiness, and prepare for a range of scenarios, Little noted.

Hagel and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, reported to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the secretary ordered the Army deployment to help Jordanian forces defend their border with Syria. The contingent will enhance the efforts of a small U.S. military team that has been working in Jordan since last year on planning related to chemical weapons and preventing a spillover of violence across Jordan’s borders, Hagel told the Senate panel.

DOD personnel and interagency partners are helping Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and other Syrian neighbors counter the threat posed by Syria’s chemical weapons, Hagel said during the hearing.

The secretary, Prince Faisal and Zaben agreed to continue to work closely together to support mutual objectives, develop capacity and provide military assistance as needed to the Jordanian armed forces, Little said.

Hagel commended Jordan on its decision to keep borders open to refugees fleeing the violence in Syria, the press secretary said, adding that Jordan now hosts nearly 500,000 Syrian refugees.

In addition to about $409 million in humanitarian assistance the United States has provided to those affected by the violence in Syria, Little said, DOD has provided more than $1.2 million in goods such as food, water, medical supplies and power generators through the Jordanian armed forces to help in the care and transport of refugees coming across the border.

DOD also has provided more than $70 million to Jordan this year to help secure its borders and prevent chemical-weapons transfer, Little said.

Hagel’s trip to the Middle East, which began April 20 and will end April 26, also will take the secretary to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to discuss common threats and interests in the region.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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