Jordan’s King Abdullah II said he would support the formation of a Middle Eastern military alliance similar to NATO between like-minded states.
Speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on June 22, Abdullah said that Jordan sees itself as a partner of NATO. The king added that Jordanian forces fought “shoulder-to-shoulder” with the alliance for decades.
“I’d like to see more countries in the area come into that mix,” Abdullah said. “I would be one of the first people that would endorse a Middle East NATO”.
Nevertheless, the king noted that the vision of a Middle Eastern NATO must be very clear, and its role should be well defined.
“The mission statement has to be very, very clear. Otherwise, it confuses everybody,” he said
Abdullah’s remarks came following reports that revealed a US plan to establish an air defense alliance in the Middle East between a number of Arab states and Israel. President Joe Biden is expected to discuss the plan with a number of Arab leaders during his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia in July.
The US-sponsored Middle Eastern alliance will be directed against Iran, which has been developing its missile and drone capabilities.
Speaking to Israeli lawmakers on June, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the “Middle East Air Defense Alliance” is already underway.
“Over the past year I have been leading an extensive program, together with my partners at the Pentagon and in the US administration, that will strengthen the cooperation between Israel and countries in the region,” Gantz said. “This program is already operative and has already enabled the successful interception of Iranian attempts to attack Israel and other countries”.
The US attempt to form a military alliance against Iran will likely lead to more tensions in the Middle East. The suggested alliance would place Arab states on the frontline in any Israeli confrontation with Iran. Despite this, some Arab leaders appear to be enthusiastic about the dangerous plan.