Introducing: 60 Minutes All Access Learn More +
Unlimited, ad-free viewing of 60 Minutes archives, Overtime and extras
Toggle

Jordan in "dire straits" says its king

The king of Jordan expresses frustration over Syrian refugees overwhelming his country, calling the situation "dire"

jordan-main-1131095-640x360.jpg

King Abdullah II

CBS News

King Abdullah II of Jordan tells Scott Pelley Syrian refugees are overwhelming his kingdom, making such an impact on its institutions and economy that the country is now in “dire straits.” The king speaks to Pelley about the refugee crisis, radical Islam, the Syrian civil war and ISIS for a story on the 49th season premiere of 60 Minutes Sunday Sept. 25th at 7:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET.  

King Abdullah II of Jordan tells Scott Pelley Syrian refugees are overwhelming his kingdom, making such an impact on its institutions and economy that the country is now in “dire straits.” The king speaks to Pelley about the refugee crisis, radical Islam, the Syrian civil war and ISIS for a story on the 49th season premiere of 60 Minutes Sunday Sept. 25th at 7:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET.

The following is an excerpt from the interview: 

Scott Pelley: Why did you allow nearly a million and a half Syrians to come into your country?

King Abdullah II: Well we really didn’t have much choice. I mean they were flooding across the border, being shot by the Syrian regime. And Jordan has always been a place that opens it arms to refugees from many countries, unfortunately. But then it got to a point where, you know, we’re now at 20% increase of our population. And the huge burden on our country we’re in dire straits.

Most are in towns, looking for work, driving up rents. 160,000 Syrian kids are in Jordan’s school. 

Scott Pelley: What’s the breaking point for your people?

King Abdullah II: About a year or two years ago.  Unemployment is skyrocketing. Our health sector is saturated. Our schools are really going through difficult times. It’s extremely, extremely difficult. And Jordanians are just have had it up to here. I mean we just can’t take it anymore.