Protesters demonstrate outside the prime minister’s office in Amman.
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Jordan's King Abdullah II Monday accepted the resignation of his embattled prime minister and reportedly tapped a leading reformer as a successor, hoping to quell the largest anti-government protests in recent years that are also seen as a potential challenge to his 2-decade-old rule. Jordan is a staunch military and political ally of the West in a turbulent region, and any threat to the kingdom's stability is viewed with concern, particularly by neighboring Israel and by the U.S.Prime Minister Hani Mulki's resignation came after several days of mass protests across Jordan against a planned tax increase, the latest in a series of economic reforms sought by the International Monetary Fund to get the rising public debt under control. Initial responses to Razzaz leading the government appeared positive, with some protesters placing hope in him.Other protesters were concerned that the change would fail to address some of Jordan's more intractable problems, especially regarding the economy and public services.Jordan's government is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to carry out economic reforms and austerity measures to rein in growing public debt.Israel has maintained discreet security ties with Jordan.
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