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King, US president hold talks at White House

By JT - Jun 26,2018 - Last updated at Jun 26,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday, in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Rania and First Lady Melania Trump (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah and US President Donald Trump held talks at the White House on Monday, covering the two countries’ strategic partnership, and regional and international developments.

During expanded talks, which were preceded by a meeting at the Oval Office attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania and First Lady Melania Trump, King Abdullah expressed Jordan’s appreciation for the United States’ support in economic and military areas, as well as for economic development programmes.

The expanded talks, attended by senior officials on both sides, covered the economic and financial challenges Jordan is facing — which are caused by regional crises — and the reforms and economic programmes the Kingdom is undertaking to overcome these challenges.

President Trump affirmed the United States’ commitment to stand by Jordan and support it economically.

Talks also covered regional developments, foremost of which are the Palestinian cause, the Syrian crisis, and efforts to achieve peace and bolster security and stability in the region.

Discussing the peace process, His Majesty stressed that the two-state solution which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the only way to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and it is the cornerstone for achieving security and stability in the entire region.

The King underlined the importance of stepping up efforts to push the peace process forward by relaunching serious and effective negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, leading to just and lasting peace. His Majesty noted the United States’ important role in this regard.

Moreover, talks addressed current developments connected to the Syrian crisis and the importance of maintaining stability in the de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria, as well as respecting the agreement in this regard, which was reached last year by Jordan, the United States and Russia.

His Majesty reaffirmed the importance of intensifying international efforts to reach a political solution to the crisis in Syria that guarantees security and stability for its people, while preserving the country’s territorial integrity.

The King’s talks with President Trump also covered overall conditions in the region, as well as regional and international efforts to fight terrorism within a holistic approach.

At the Oval Office meeting that preceded the expanded talks, His Majesty and President Trump, in brief remarks to the press, affirmed the deep ties of friendship and partnership between the two countries.

“Sir, if I could thank you and the United States and the people of America for all the support you have given our country,” the King said.

 “If the rest of the world just took a little bit of your humility and your grace to help us, we would be in a lot better position,” His Majesty added.

“On behalf of myself and my people, thank you so much for all that you have done for us,” the King told the US president.

For his part, President Trump said: “It is a great honour to have the King and Queen of Jordan with us. They’re friends, we’ve known each other now for quite a while, long before this. But you have done an incredible job on the refugees and the camps and taking care of people.”

 “Our nations have a very good relationship… The job you do on the humanitarian basis is fantastic, and I would like to thank you very much,” Trump added.

President Trump told reporters: “Remember, he [His Majesty] used the word ‘humility’ with respect to me... That’s probably the nicest compliment I have been given in a long time.”

“We spend a lot of money, but we spend a lot of money in a lot of places, and people don’t do the job that you do, so I want to thank you very much,” President Trump added, addressing the King.

Responding to questions on the Middle East, President Trump said: “We’re doing very well in the Middle East.”

He added: “I can only say this… we’re doing very well in the Middle East. A lot of progress has been made in the Middle East, a lot. And it really started with the end of the horrible Iran deal. That deal was a disaster, and things are a lot different since we ended that. A lot different.”

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Adviser to His Majesty and Director of the Office of His Majesty Manar Dabbas, Adviser to His Majesty for Economic Affairs Mohammad Eses, and Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States Dina Kawar attended the expanded talks.

In attendance on the US side were Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Senior Adviser to the US President Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, US Charge d’Affaires in Amman Henry Wooster, and a number of senior administration officials.

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