On Monday, US President Joe Biden held talks in the Oval Office with Jordan’s King Abdullah, in the first of three face-to-face meetings of the US president with leaders from the Middle East, two of which are expected to be held soon.
King Abdullah met Biden for the first time since his inauguration as US president in January. Biden described King Abdullah as a “good, loyal, courteous friend.”
Addressing the Jordanian monarch in front of journalists in a photo session, he said, “You have always stood by us, and we will always stand by Jordan.” He added that he wanted to be informed of developments in the Middle East from the King.
King Abdullah told Biden that the region faces many challenges. “You can always count on me, my country, and many of our allies in the region,” he said.
The White House said in a statement that Biden announced during the meeting the delivery of more than 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Jordan, and that the two leaders discussed defense relations between the two countries and the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
“President Biden praised the important role that Jordan plays in the broader stability of the region,” the White House said.
He added that the two leaders also discussed peace efforts in the Middle East, and that Biden expressed his support for a two-state solution to the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, and for Jordan to communicate with the new Israeli government.
King Abdullah will also attend a working breakfast with Vice President Kamla Harris at her residence on Tuesday, followed by a meeting with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
King Abdullah plays a unique role in the Middle East and is seen by US officials as a moderate and pragmatic leader who can play a mediating role.
He is the first Middle Eastern leader to visit the White House in Biden’s presence, and he will be followed by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who is scheduled to visit Washington on July 26.
US and Israeli officials are working to arrange a close meeting between Biden and the new Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett.
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