The administration's budget contains more than $5.7 billion in military
and economic assistance to U.S. allies deemed as front-line states in the
war on terror. Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Turkey were Middle East countries
cited by the State Department.
But officials said Egypt and Jordan would receive the largest allotment
of new security aid. They said both countries played a major role in the
U.S.-led war against Al Qaida and the war to oust the Iraqi regime of Saddam
Hussein in 2003.
Jordan is expected to receive nearly $500 million in
economic and security aid from the United States, Middle East Newsline reported.
The figure is contained in the Bush administration's budget for fiscal
2005. The spending plan contains U.S. military and security aid to allies of
Washington as part of the State Department's $31.5 billion budget.
Under the budget request submitted to Congress, Jordan will
receive $459 million in U.S. aid. Officials said the aid would be used to
bolster Jordan's border security and improve its economy.
"Jordan continues its strong counterterrorism efforts, including
arresting two individuals with links to Al Qaida who admitted responsibility
for the October 2002 murder of a U.S. AID [Agency for International
Development] Foreign Service officer in Amman," a State Department briefing
Under the budget request, Jordan would receive $206 million in military
aid, the same level as that provided in fiscal 2004. The 2005 aid request
would be used to modernize Jordan's military, increase border surveillance
and counter-insurgency efforts.
Jordan will also receive an unspecified amount to sustain a
U.S.-sponsored military training program. Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia and
Yemen will also benefit from the $12.3 million International Military
Education and Training program.
Morocco would receive $53.8 million in economic and security aid in
fiscal 2005. The Bush administration also plans to provide Rabat with $20
million for Morocco's military to stop Islamic insurgency groups from
operating in the northern Sahara Desert.
"A new focus for the FY 2005 budget includes funding for Morocco to
assist in border control, community policing and civil order," the State
Department said. "Funds will provide equipment, technical assistance and
training to help Morocco's problems with illegal migration, human smuggling,
narcotics production and trafficking."
Israel is meant to receive $360 million as part of the State
Department's Economic Support Fund for 2005. The Palestinians will receive
The State Department budget would also include $1.5 billion for
security-related construction and major rehabilitation requirements of U.S.
embassies and consulates. Another $659 million would be allocated to
increase security for diplomatic personnel and facilities in the face of
The administration would also allocate $150 million to support political
and education reform and economic development in the Middle East.
More than $70 million would be allocated for Arabic and Persian radio and
television broadcasts to the Middle East, including launching of the Middle
East Television Network.
The 2005 budget would also contain funding for nonproliferation efforts,
particularly to stop weapons of mass destruction programs in the Middle
East. The administration has termed the WMD programs of Iran and Syria a
threat to global security.