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Blinken hails Jordan’s vital regional role, ‘big hearts’ of Jordanians

By Batool Ghaith - May 27,2021 - Last updated at May 27,2021

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Amman on Wednesday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said that Jordan is more than a strategic partner for the US, it’s a “friend”.

During a press conference in Amman on Wednesday, Blinken highlighted the efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah.

“The leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah was crucial, as it always has been in different issues, his role was essential in reaching a ceasefire in Gaza," Blinken said.

“The past period has been difficult on Jordan, as it has been on many of us, both nations are now facing economic difficulties and are seeking to deliver economic opportunities for our people. Jordan has been doing this while continuing to show generosity especially towards the many people who came here to escape violence and persecution, this is a reflection of the country’s character and the big hearts of the Jordanian people,” Blinken noted.

Blinken pointed out that the ceasefire is not an end but a start of something to build on. “Securing the ceasefire is important, simply because of the devastating toll the violence took on the families from both sides,” he continued.

Blinken also announced that aid had begun to reach the residents of the Gaza Strip, pointing out that the reconstruction of Gaza is one of the most important issues today.

“My conversation with His Majesty in Amman touched on the work we need to do together to meet the humanitarian needs and reconstruction in Gaza, while ensuring that the Palestinian people, not Hamas, benefit from this assistance. We discussed Jordan’s essential role as custodian of the holy places and the importance of preserving the historic status of these holy sites, as Jordan plays a vital role in the West Bank,” Blinken said.

He indicated that the US is aiming to reopen the US Consulate in occupied Jerusalem.

“If we want to avoid the return of the harrowing violence of recent weeks, the countries in this region need to help and support one another. In the coming days I will be consulting broadly with Gulf countries and other partners to ensure we all contribute to recovery, stability and the reduction of tensions,” Blinken noted.

 “The most important thing is the humanitarian assistance for Gaza, particularly water, sanitation and electricity, we all have to come together to answer those immediate needs, along with reconstruction and rebuilding. We had very good conversations over the past days with the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Egypt and the United Nations regarding that,” Blinken said.

Blinken noted that there are efforts from all sides to take steps towards reducing tensions and building trust and hope going forward.

“As that takes shape, I think we can see the possibility of conditions developing in which it will be possible to advance with the prospect of two states,” he said.

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