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Moving US embassy to Jerusalem would threaten peace — King

US lawmakers laud Jordan’s role, promise continued support

By JT - Nov 30,2017 - Last updated at Nov 30,2017

Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania pose for a group photo with US lawmakers in Washington on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah continued his meetings with US lawmakers at Capitol Hill on Wednesday, meeting with the speaker of the US House of Representatives, and the chairs and members of a number of congressional committees.

Discussions at the meetings, a number of which were attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania, covered means to expand the strategic partnership between Jordan and the US, as well as developments in the Middle East, foremost of which are efforts to push the peace process forward.

King Abdullah met with Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, in addition to the chairs and members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Armed Services.

Discussions addressed Jordanian-US economic cooperation and the renewing of the memorandum of understanding that sets the volume of economic and military support for the coming years.

In this context, His Majesty expressed Jordan’s appreciation of the US administration and the Congress for supporting the Kingdom to enable it to implement development programmes.

The King also thanked the US Senate and House of Representatives for their historical friendship with Jordan and their supportive stances.

In addition, the meetings covered Jordan’s economic plans and reforms, aimed at stimulating growth and increasing economic resilience amidst various challenges brought on by regional crises.

Jordan’s positions on a number of regional issues and crises, and its efforts to cooperate with all regional and international players to reach political solutions were highlighted at the meetings.

With regards to efforts to achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, His Majesty affirmed that there is no alternative to the two-state solution, which would guarantee justice, freedom and stability.

It is important that no measures are taken to undermine the US administration’s commendable efforts aimed at resuming the peace process, the King asserted.

Commenting on the issue of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, His Majesty called for giving the peace process a chance to succeed, noting that moving the embassy must come within a comprehensive solution that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel.

Moving the embassy at this stage, the King warned, would have implications on the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim scene, and would threaten the two-state solution; it could be potentially exploited by terrorists to stoke anger, frustration, and desperation in order to spread their ideologies.

Turning to the Syrian crisis, His Majesty called for intensifying efforts to reach a political solution, noting that the tripartite agreement involving Jordan, the US and Russia to secure a ceasefire and establish a de-escalation zone in southern Syria can contribute to the political process.

Discussions also touched on the latest developments in Iraq, including the conditions in Kurdistan and the Iraqi government’s efforts to counter Daesh, as well as means to support Iraq in achieving stability.

Regional and international efforts to fight terrorism within a holistic approach were also discussed, with the King warning of the danger of Islamophobia in Western societies, which may be used by extremists to fuel their terrorist agendas.

For their part, the US lawmakers expressed their appreciation of His Majesty’s vision and wise policies on various regional and international challenges, praising Jordan’s key role in bringing peace and stability to the Middle East.

They affirmed their commitment to supporting Jordan, expressing pride in the strong alliance between Jordan and the US, within a shared vision.

The lawmakers also commended Jordan’s “exemplary leadership and role in the region, as well as its great efforts and the responsibilities it is undertaking, including the hosting of refugees,” the statement said.

They expressed their appreciation of Jordan’s “steadfast positions, led by the King, lauding the Kingdom as a voice of moderation in the region and a cornerstone of stability”.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan, and Jordan’s Ambassador in Washington, DC, Dina Kawar attended the meetings.

His Majesty also met with Chair of the Senate Committee on Armed Services Senator John McCain (R-Arizona).

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