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Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 war and defeated Palestinian rebels who attempted to overthrow the monarchy in 1970. King HUSSEIN in 1988 permanently relinquished Jordanian claims to the West Bank. In 1989, he reinstituted parliamentary elections and initiated a gradual political liberalization; political parties were legalized in 1992. In 1994, he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, King HUSSEIN's eldest son, assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and implemented some economic and political reforms. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2000, and began to participate in the European Free Trade Association in 2001. In 2003, Jordan staunchly supported the Coalition ouster of SADDAM in Iraq and, following the outbreak of insurgent violence in Iraq, absorbed thousands of displaced Iraqis. Municipal elections were held in July 2007 under a system in which 20% of seats in all municipal councils were reserved by quota for women. Parliamentary elections were last held in November 2010 and saw independent pro-government candidates win the vast majority of seats.


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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 140
18 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 16
Over 3,047 m 8
2,438 to 3,047 m 5
1,524 to 2,437 m 2
914 to 1,523 m 1 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 2
Under 914 m 2 (2012)

Heliports
1 (2012)

Pipelines
Gas 439 km; oil 49 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 111
Total 507 km
Narrow gauge 507 km 1.050-m gauge (2008)

Roadways World Ranking: 143
Total 7,891 km
Paved 7,891 km (2009)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 106
Total 12
By type
Cargo 4, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
Foreign-owned 2 (UAE 2)
Registered in other countries
16 (Bahamas 2, Egypt 2, Indonesia 1, Panama 11) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Al 'Aqabah


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  Jordan (Amman):


  GPS points from Jordan (Amman)



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