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Saudi Arabia to host Gulf conference on supporting Jordan

June 9, 2018

Protesters gather for a demonstration outside the Prime Minister's office in Amman, early Thursday, June 7, 2018. Protesters demanded that Jordan's new government scrap the current tax proposal, restore subsidies for bread, lower fuel prices and fight corruption. (AP Photo/Raad al-Adayleh)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia says it will host a meeting among several Gulf Arab countries to offer support to Jordan after it faced mass protests over the kingdom’s economic problems and its plans to tax its citizens.

The Saudi Royal Court said the meeting Sunday in Mecca would include Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

A statement early Saturday on the state-run Saudi Press Agency said the meeting would “discuss means of supporting Jordan to overcome its current crisis.”

That likely means cash from the oil-rich nations to Jordan, which has experienced an economic downturn. Rising unemployment has hurt Jordan’s economy, as has taking in a large number of refugees from war-wracked Syria and Iraq.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has replaced the country’s prime minister over the protests.

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