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KING HUSSEIN: 1935-1999

Jordan Mourns King as Leaders Gather at Funeral

Monarchy: Crowds trudge through rain to mark end of an era and loss of Hussein, ruler for 47 years. Hours after father's death, King Abdullah II is sworn in.

February 08, 1999|TRACY WILKINSON and REBECCA TROUNSON | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

But before long, he must begin to cope with challenges that include Jordan's severely troubled economy, high unemployment and anger over endemic corruption. Many Jordanians also remain uneasy, or resentful, over Hussein's internationally praised but internally unpopular 1994 peace treaty with Israel, which has not yielded the economic benefits that many expected.

The economic crisis is the most urgent issue, Kamhawi and many others believe, with sweeping reforms and foreign investment desperately needed. A desert kingdom lacking oil or any other significant resource, Jordan has long relied on the largess of powerful allies, including the wealthy Persian Gulf nations and, lately, the U.S.

That support is likely to be even more critical in the months to come. Several nations, including the United States and the United Arab Emirates, already have promised new aid to ease the transition.

*

REACTION IN SOUTHLAND: Death stirs emotion among many in area--home to 50,000 Jordanian Americans. B1

* A DIPLOMATIC VOID: The king's passing leaves a huge gap in American foreign policy. A17

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