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King, Trump discuss ties, regional peace

Two leaders agree to hold summit in Washington ‘soon’

By JT - Feb 02,2017 - Last updated at Feb 02,2017

His Majesty King Abdullah holds talks with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday in Washington discussed with US President Donald Trump ways to boost strategic partnership and work jointly to combat terrorism, according to a Royal Court statement. 

During the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the annual National Prayer Breakfast, King Abdullah and Trump agreed on the importance of providing safety and security for Syrians and also on the importance of intensifying efforts to revive Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. 

The two leaders agreed to hold a summit meeting during an official visit King Abdullah will make to the US soon, according to the statement. 

The meeting was attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman Safadi and King's Office Director Jafar Hassan. 

His Majesty started his visit to the US on Monday, when he met with US Vice President Mike Pence.

During the meeting, the King emphasised that Muslims are the primary victims of the outlaws of Islam (Khawarij), “who pose a global problem and do not represent any faith or nationality and target all of us who do not subscribe to their ideology of hate”.

Also on Monday, King Abdullah held two separate meetings with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly over strategic relations between both countries and ways to develop them at all levels.

The Monarch on Tuesday discussed regional developments and Jordan’s strategic relations with the US at meetings in Washington, DC, with chairs and members of Congress committees.

Talks at the meetings, part of which was attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania, also covered the Kingdom’s role in dealing with the crises in the region and anti-terrorism efforts from a holistic approach.

His Majesty also held talks with the chairpersons and members of the US House of Representatives’ foreign affairs and armed services committees, in addition to its subcommittee on state, foreign operations and related programmes.

Talks addressed developments such as the Middle East peace process, the Syrian crisis and the situation in Iraq.

On Wednesday, King Abdullah continued his meetings with US Congress leaders in Washington, DC, holding talks with the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

Talks at the two meetings, attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania, covered regional developments — especially the Mideast peace process and the Syrian crisis — and efforts to combat terrorism.

The US lawmakers showed great interest in Jordan’s stance on a number of regional issues, foremost of which was the Syrian crisis and maintaining the ceasefire, in addition to anti-terrorism efforts and the potential repercussions of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

In the case of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, he stressed the need to consider the ramifications of such a decision and the anger it could cause among Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.

The decision, the King added, could also pose risks to the two-state solution and might end up being used as a rallying cry by terrorists.

At the time, in remarks to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), who chairs the Senate’s subcommittee on appropriations for the State Department, said the King is respected by Democrats and Republicans alike.

When His Majesty talks, Graham added, America listens.

For his part, Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), who is a member of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, said the meeting was an opportunity to speak to King Abdullah, describing him as a great leader in Jordan and the region.


President of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Crocker (R-Tennessee) said that in spite of the issues that Jordan deals with, especially the Syrian refugee crisis, the budget deficit and the drop in tourism, the King is still the leader that the US officials want to hear from, on how to deal the region’s issues in general.

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