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Jordan's King Abdallah II in Washington to Discuss 'Regional Tensions'

Jordan's King Abdallah II in Washington to Discuss 'Regional Tensions'

Wednesday, 1 February, 2023 - 06:45
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy holding talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Washington (Reuters)

Jordan's King Abdullah II kicked off his visit to the US on Tuesday and is set to hold talks with President Joe Biden on Thursday at the White House, according to the Jordanian embassy in Washington.

The Jordanian monarch held a series of meetings with Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress during his visit, a part of an international tour that included Qatar and Canada.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy hosted King Abdullah II for a bipartisan leadership meeting and discussed issues of mutual concern.

It was McCarthy's first foreign meeting as the new speaker of the House with a foreign official since he took office after the Republicans won the majority in the House of Representatives.

King Abdullah also met the leaders of the specialized committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The King held several closed meetings and addressed the recent escalation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the strategic relations between Jordan and the US, and other issues of common interest.

A source confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Jordanian monarch would also meet during his visit Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken after his return from his regional tour following the escalating tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

King Abdullah visited the United States in May, and in July, he met Biden during a visit to Saudi Arabia. The two sides "reaffirmed the enduring strength of the strategic friendship between the two countries."

Ahead of his arrival in Washington, the Jordanian monarch visited Canada and met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ontario, where the two sides discussed "global security."

In a joint statement, they expressed "deep concern about the deteriorating situation in the West Bank and Gaza."

They stressed the need to "stop all unilateral and provocative measures that undermine the two-state solution, increase tension, and lead to violence."

They also encouraged efforts to relaunch peace negotiations to achieve the two-state solution to ensure an independent, viable, and sovereign Palestinian state.

Last week, King Abdullah received Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a surprise visit to Jordan and stressed that Israel should respect the "historical and legal status quo in the Holy Aqsa mosque and not violate it," the royal court said.

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