Mohammed bin Salman arrives in Amman for talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan, who will also attend a Saudi Arabia-hosted summit with US President Biden.

Saudi Arabia has over $12 billion worth of investments in Jordan and once rescued Jordan with cash injections but has held off direct budget support.
Saudi Arabia has over $12 billion worth of investments in Jordan and once rescued Jordan with cash injections but has held off direct budget support. (Reuters)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has arrived in Jordan amid a thaw in relations after years of tension due to divergent views on regional conflicts and unfulfilled pledges of aid, officials said.

"This is an opportunity for a new phase in Jordanian-Saudi ties and to continue a programme of economic projects and new investments," a senior Jordanian official told Reuters news agency. 

The first such visit in years by the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia comes at a time when Jordan's economy is struggling with the economic knock-on effects of the Ukraine conflict.

Business leaders and officials hope it will unblock at least $3 billion of investment projects that Saudi Arabia committed to in recent years but that never materialised.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is looking into investing billions of dollars in mega-infrastructure projects in Jordan, including an estimated $2.5 billion railway project, a senior Jordanian official said.

Saudi Arabia has over $12 billion worth of investments in Jordan and once rescued Jordan with cash injections but has held off direct budget support.

Officials said discussions would look at more ways to help Jordan’s economy, which has been hammered by rising fuel prices and higher food imports. Jordan imports most of its energy needs.

Officials say Jordan's economic strains have worsened with the end of Gulf grants and little extra funding from Western donors in the last few years to cope with sluggish growth and high unemployment.

READ MORE: Saudi crown prince visits Egypt ahead of Türkiye trip

Saudi-Jordanian ties

King Abdullah will also discuss with the Saudi prince a summit meeting next month in Jeddah where US President Joe Biden will meet with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council in addition to Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.

Saudi Arabia and Jordan share deep concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions and what they see as Tehran's destabilising role in the region, a Jordanian official said.

Saudi-Jordanian ties reached a low during former president Donald Trump's term in office when Amman, a staunch US ally, felt that Riyadh's close relations with Trump's administration undermined Jordan's pivotal role in Arab-Israel peace process.

Relations were also strained by accusations that Saudi Arabia was involved in an alleged plot by King Abdullah's half-brother Prince Hamza to unseat the monarch.

Jordan never publicly accused Saudi Arabia of involvement and Riyadh has not commented. Jordanian officials say the affair is now behind them.

READ MORE: US, Jordan in talks to prevent Iran ‘takeover’ in southern Syria

Source: Reuters