Jordan’s King Abdullah, Obama plan to meet next month after crossing paths in Washington

Published January 14th, 2016 - 07:00 GMT

His Majesty King Abdullah and US President Barack Obama met briefly on Wednesday at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington as the two leaders were leaving the US capital.

The King and Obama agreed to meet next month, according to a Royal Court statement.

The Associated Press reported from Washington that the two leaders crossed paths at the base, which houses Air Force One, as King Abdullah was preparing to leave the US at the end of his visit and Obama was departing for Nebraska.

Earlier on Wednesday, the King continued a series of meetings with US Congress members that he started on Tuesday, discussing Jordanian-US relations and the latest developments in the Middle East, especially in relation to combating terrorism.

King Abdullah met with Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), according to the Royal Court.

The King expressed Jordan's gratitude for US support through the House of Representatives and through other financial assistance, which has reached around $1.2 billion annually, helping Jordan better deal with the repercussions of regional challenges and the issue of Syrian refugees.

His Majesty highlighted the distinguished relations between the two countries and their shared views on many regional and global crises. 

Turning to anti-terrorism, he stressed the importance of pursuing international efforts to confront the danger of terrorism, within a comprehensive strategic approach. 

The King reaffirmed the need to arrive at a political solution to the Syrian crisis that would end the suffering of the people. 

His Majesty highlighted the burdens borne by Jordan as a result of hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees, who constitute around 20 per cent of the Kingdom’s population. 

He highlighted the positive developments resulting from global cooperation within the framework of the US-led military coalition against Daesh, in terms of defeating the terror group in several areas in Iraq, which paves the way for further positive results in the war on terrorism. 

The King and the US Congress leaders also asserted the importance of the resumption of Middle East peace negotiations, especially since the absence of peace incites tension in the region and provides fertile grounds for terrorists to recruit young people and exploit the high rate of unemployment among them. 

The lawmakers commended the King’s efforts to achieve peace and ensure regional security and stability, stressing their continued support for Jordan and its development and economic reform plans. 

They lauded Jordan’s efforts in hosting refugees and providing them with humanitarian assistance. 

On Tuesday, King Abdullah met with Chairperson of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and its members, and highlighted the importance of intensifying international efforts to deal with problems facing Middle East countries and combat terrorism.

Talks covered the developments in Iraq and the importance of supporting the Iraqi government in fighting Daesh.

Discussions also addressed the Syrian crisis and its economic and social repercussions on the Kingdom. 

Corker and the committee members commended the Kingdom’s role in dealing with regional crises and receiving Syrian refugees and offering them aid.

The King also met with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairperson Senator Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi) and other members and discussed bilateral relations. 

His Majesty thanked the US for providing assistance to Jordan. 

In addition, he met with Chairperson of the Armed Services Committee Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and members of the committee as well as Chairperson of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and other members.

Discussions covered military cooperation, with McCain and Thornberry voicing readiness to support Jordan’s armed forces.


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