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Jordan is a key partner for Canada in the Middle East, as demonstrated by our significant international assistance to Jordan and our mutual interest in diplomacy. Aside from promoting regional and international stability, mainly through the support and advocacy of sustainable solutions to the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, our shared interests include:
- Combatting all forms of terrorism;
- Refugee protection;
- Humanitarian assistance;
- Free trade and commercial opportunities;
- Inclusive education, accountable governance and sustainable economic growth and;
- Women’s economic empowerment.
Canada and Jordan also share strong people-to-people links through a Jordanian-Canadian community in Canada, Jordanian students studying in Canada, and Canadians living and working in Jordan. Canada is represented in Jordan by its embassy in Amman and increased its diplomatic presence there in response to the crisis in Syria. Jordan is represented in Canada by its embassy in Ottawa.
Since 2016, through the Middle East engagement Strategy Canada has contributed over $575.7 million to support Jordan’s stability and resilience as it manages the effects of the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Currently in Jordan, there are 669,497 registered Syrian refugees. If unregistered refugees are included, one estimate brings the total to 1.3 million Syrian refugees. In addition to Syrian refugees, Jordan also hosts refugees from over 50 nationalities including Iraqis, Yemenis and Palestinians.
Canada has renewed its Middle East engagement strategy until March 31, 2022 with a focus on building stability, governance and long-term resilience in the region.
Jordan is the first Arab country with which Canada has signed a Free Trade Agreement. Bilateral trade in 2020 was $200 million.
Canada’s exports to Jordan are diversified and span a range of sectors, including:
- Automotive sector – used vehicles.
- Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector - agri-food and consumer products.
- Healthcare - vitamins, medical, and fitness equipment.
- Energy - main billing systems between renewable energy generating companies and distribution companies.
- Defence - Helicopters, armoured vehicles, tactical lights, and tents.
In addition, as of December 2019, there were 1445 valid Canadian study permits issued to Jordanian students.
Under Canada’s Middle East Engagement Strategy, Canada is supporting Jordan’s efforts to build the resilience of individuals, communities and institutions through better access to quality education, sustainable and inclusive economic growth (with a focus on economic reform and the empowerment of women and youth), and inclusive governance, including municipal services. This support recognizes that in a refugee hosting situation, compounded by economic challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, stability can be enhanced through strengthened education, employment and other opportunities for refugees and host communities. For more information, see Canada’s Middle East Engagement Strategy.
Security and Stabilization
Canada is committed to supporting Jordan’s capacity to provide internal security and defend its borders. Canada and Jordan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation in the spring of 2012 and the Jordanian Armed Forces benefit from the close relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces. In addition, MoUs on preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and related materials, and on increasing security and stabilization cooperation were signed in 2013 and 2016 respectively. Canada also became the NATO point of contact Embassy in Jordan in January, 2021.
In partnership with Canada’s Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP), a Canadian Armed Forces Training Assistance Team (CTAT) is based in Jordan to implement capacity-building efforts through Operation IMPACT. Initiatives to support the Jordanian Armed Forces to better respond to threats in the region include a rehabilitated military border road that covers over 63 kilometers and 11 renovated border towers, both of which are located along the Jordan-Syria frontier.
Through CTCBP and the Policing Support Team/ARK Group, Canada is also delivering specialized firearms, search and medical training to build the capacity of female police officers in critical incident response roles. This initiative, delivered alongside technical assistance to the Gender Unit within Jordan’s Public Security Directorate, is in support of Jordan’s National Action Plan (JONAP) for advancing the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325), as well as Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), to help strengthen global peace and security through increased women’s representation in the security sector.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Jordan work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Open Government Partnership (OGP)
- United Nations (UN)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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