Jordan’s Queen Noor Wednesday said part of what led to Egypt’s turmoil was the vast majority of U.S. aid was military, with little concern to the country’s – or the region’s – social fabric. In an MSNBC interview, the queen also indicated Jordan has far to go before it can be considered a democratic nation, but Tuesday’s change in government in the Hashemite kingdom is a positive first step..
“I think it is telling, if you are looking where U.S. aid has been targeted,” she told Chris Matthews. “Much of the aid ends up being military aid. You don’t have the same proportion, or what should be a greater proportion, into the human security needs of a country: building civil society, building those institutions that can help create a space for many different points of view to work together, in participatory decision-making.”
Jordan's King Abdullah Tuesday sacked his government in the wake of street protests. King Abdullah's move came after thousands of Jordanians took to the streets, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, blamed for slowed political reforms.
The queen, the widow of King Hussein, King Abdullah’s father, said Jordan is not yet democratic, but is taking positive steps.
“The king has changed the government, these were necessary decisions to take,” she said on “Hardball.” “We have had plans that have been developed in the past for a reform process – a gradual reform process – and perhaps now they can start to implement them.”
The queen said she was optimistic that the region will not radicalize, and Egypt will see political reform.
“I have faith in the people who have been out there peacefully asking for their rights, and I have enormous faith that in countries like Egypt … and others, that we can see a coalition of different parties, different points of view, working together in a participatory and consensual form of governance,” she said.
Matthews asked the queen whether she thought the United States should have pushed earlier for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step aside.
“I’m not going to get into that,” the queen said. “But I think [the United States] could have been doing a great deal more to build up civil societies and institutions throughout the region.”
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