Love’s labours lost: Margaret Thatcher, King Hussein and Anglo-Jordanian relations, 1979-1990
Author(s)Ashton, Nigel J.
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AbstractRelations between Britain and Jordan underwent a revival during the premiership of Margaret Thatcher between 1979 and 1990. Although no longer the dominant power in the Middle East, Britain's membership of the European Economic Community and the close relations between Prime Minister Thatcher and President Reagan meant that Britain was seen by King Hussein as an influential power to be courted. Thatcher shared Hussein's views about the Arab-Israeli peace process and lent him strong support as the voice of Arab moderation. She also sought to use her personal relationship with Hussein as a vehicle to further British interests, particularly through her promotion of British arms sales, both directly to Jordan, and indirectly, through Jordan, to Iraq. This article makes use of a large body of British official documents secured under the Freedom of Information Act and Jordanian documents from the Royal Hashemite Archive in Amman to illuminate the development of bilateral relations over the course of the decade. It concludes by showing how the differing responses of Thatcher and Hussein to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 ruptured their relations. Drawing on sources which have previously been unavailable the article offers a fresh perspective on important aspects of the international history of the Middle East during the 1980s.
Ashton, Nigel J. (2011) Love’s labours lost: Margaret Thatcher, King Hussein and Anglo-Jordanian relations, 1979-1990. Diplomacy and Statecraft, 22 (4). pp. 651-667. ISSN 1557-301X