President Obama pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees for Jordan, a U.S. Middle East ally that is dealing with a flood of Syrian refugees who have fled across the border.

The president made the loan guarantee commitment during a meeting Friday evening with Jordan’s King Abdullah at Sunnylands, the Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Obama also extended an aid package for the country for five years.

With a population of 6.5 million people, Jordan, which shares a border with Syria, has been forced to deal with 600,000 refugees that have fled the deadly violence. The influx of people have strained public services and the nation’s economy.

Jordan is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East with the U.S. already providing $1 billion annually. Sandwiched between Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Israel, Jordan has played a direct role in Middle East peace negotiations and is a strong advocate of free trade between the U.S. and the Arab world.

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