Home WORLD-NEWS US President Joe Biden meets with Jordanian King Abdullah to discuss issues...

US President Joe Biden meets with Jordanian King Abdullah to discuss issues in the Middle East

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US President Joe Biden announced the delivery of more than 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Jordan. (File)

Washington:

US President Joe Biden held Oval Office talks Monday with Jordanian King Abdullah, a key US ally in an unstable region, during the first of three face-to-face meetings expected soon with leaders in the Middle East.

Abdullah, who in April faced a challenge to his authority from his half-brother, Prince Hamza, met Biden for the first time since the US president took office in January. Biden called the king a “good, loyal, decent friend.”

“You’ve always been there and we’ll always be there for Jordan,” Biden told reporters during a photo shoot. He said he wanted to hear from the king about developments in the Middle East.

“You live in a tough neighborhood,” he said.

Abdullah said his region has many challenges. “You can always count on me, my country and many of our colleagues in the region,” he told Biden.

At the meeting, Biden announced the delivery of more than 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Jordan, and the two leaders discussed the defense relationship between the US and Jordan and the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the White House said in a statement.

“President Biden praised the important role Jordan plays in the wider stability of the region,” he said

They also discussed peace efforts in the Middle East and Biden expressed support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Jordan’s involvement in the new Israeli government, the White House said.

Tensions remain high after the 11-day war in May between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

Abdullah plays a unique role in the Middle East, 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 Biden’s White House, followed on July 26 by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. US and Israeli officials are working to schedule an early meeting between Biden and new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who recently replaced Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jordan’s image as an island of stability in the turbulent Middle East was called into question after Prince Hamza was accused in April of plotting to destabilize the country.

Biden has offered full support to Abdullah, who was joined at the White House by his wife, Queen Rania.

Abdullah will have a working breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday at the Vice President’s residence. He will also meet with State Secretary Antony Blinken at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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