Jordan (اَلأُرْدُنّ), is an Arab kingdom in Western Asia, on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea with the latter. Jordan's only port is at its south-western tip, at the Gulf of Aqaba, which is shared with Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
Over half of Jordan is covered by the Arabian Desert. However, the western part of Jordan is arable land and forests. Jordan is part of the Fertile Crescent. The capital city is Amman.
Jordan has the second highest life expectancy in the Middle East, after Israel. The average life expectancy is one position behind the United Kingdom, although the age remains exactly the same (80.05 years).
The precursor to modern Jordan was founded in 1921 as the Hashemite Emirate, and it was recognized by the League of Nations as a state under the British Mandate for Palestine in 1922 known as The Emirate of Transjordan. In 1946, Jordan became an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. After capturing the West Bank area of Cisjordan during the 1948–49 war with Israel, Abdullah I took the title King of Jordan and Palestine, and he officially changed the country's name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in April 1949.
Modern Jordan is classified as a country of "medium human development" by the 2011 Human Development Report, and an emerging market with a free market economy. Jordan has an "upper middle income" economy. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States went into effect in December, 2001 phased out duties on nearly all goods and services between the two countries. Jordan has also enjoyed "advanced status" with the European Union since December 2010 as well as being a member of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area.
Jordan has more Free Trade Agreements than any other country in the region. It has close relations with the United States and the United Kingdom, and became a major non-NATO ally of the United States in 1996. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Jordan was invited to Join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Jordan was the first Arab and Middle Eastern state to join the International Criminal Court. The Jordanian Government is one of three members of the 22 Arab League states to maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, the others being the Egyptian and Palestinian governments.