Introduction

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Background: For most of its history since independence from British administration in 1946, Jordan was ruled by King HUSSEIN (1953-1999). A pragmatic ruler, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, through several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he resumed parliamentary elections and gradually permitted political liberalization; in 1994 a formal peace treaty was signed with Israel.

Geography

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Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates: 31 00 N, 36 00 E

Map references: Middle East

Area: total: 89,213 sq km land: 88,884 sq km water: 329 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Indiana

Land boundaries: total: 1,619 km border countries: Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 728 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km

Coastline: 26 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)

Terrain: mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River

Inter CAFFE

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