Jordan\'s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation will hold negotiations with the French Development Agency (AFD) next week in order to sign an agreement for a 150 million euro loan before the end of this month. In a statement, the ministry said it will discuss the loan draft agreement with the AFD office in Amman this week, emphasising the importance of the loan which will help reduce the budget deficit and support the Kingdom’s efforts to develop the energy sector. Separately, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Jafar Hassan said the European Union is expected to increase its aid to Jordan within the aid-package presented to south Mediterranean countries as the country’s share stands at 488 million euro for 2007-2013. Hassan made the statement during a meeting with Štefan Füle, commissioner for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy, in Brussels at the end of last week. According to Hassan, the meeting addressed the European assistance to Jordan for this year, especially those earmarked to support the budget. Talks also addressed the additional amount of assistance amounting to 70 million euros which was agreed on at the Dead Sea at the end of February this year. At the meeting, Hassan briefed Füle on Jordan’s political and economic reform programmes and the government’s plans for the next few months, besides the measures taken to deal with economic challenges.