US and Jordan eager to form a ‘deeper strategic partnership’

Published March 11th, 2016 - 02:00 GMT
US Vice President Joe Biden meets with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman, March 10 2016. (AFP/File)
US Vice President Joe Biden meets with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman, March 10 2016. (AFP/File)

His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday underlined the need for immediate halt of Israeli violations in Jerusalem.

The King made the remarks during a meeting with visiting US Vice President Joe Biden, in which discussions covered efforts to make peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Talks also addressed regional issues, including efforts to eradicate extremism through a comprehensive approach, in addition to bilateral ties, according to a statement by the Royal Court.

Jordan was the last leg of a tour by Biden in the region that also took him to the UAE, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

On Jordanian-US relations, the King said Jordan is keen on deepening its strategic partnership with the US in various areas.

Turning to Syria, His Majesty reiterated Jordan's constant stance that supports a political solution to the crisis in the country.

The Monarch also reviewed burdens Jordan is shouldering due to hosting a large number of Syrian refugees.

Discussions also covered the situation in Iraq. The King voiced support for the Iraqi government in fighting Daesh group and in ensuring Iraq's unity and safety with the engagement of all the components of the Iraqi population.

The US official, who arrived early Thursday at the Marka airport along with his wife Jill Biden, expressed the US appreciation of Jordan's contribution to peacemaking efforts, its work to restore stability in the Middle East and efforts in the fight against extremism.

Biden said the US is also keen on continued cooperation and partnership with Jordan in various areas.

While in Israel Wednesday, Biden, commenting on the confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians, hinted at criticism of Tel Aviv when he said that "the violence must be stopped", but added that "this cannot and will not be done just by physical force", according to The Associated Press.

At the start of his tour to the UAE Monday, Biden vowed that the US and its allies would "squeeze the heart" of Daesh and destroy it.

"We have to squeeze the heart of Daesh in Iraq and Syria so they can't continue to pump their poison in the region and around the world," Biden said in the UAE.

Also on Thursday, King Abdullah, the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF), and Biden attended a joint military drill implemented by the JAF Quick Reaction Forces and US forces.

The joint exercise, also attended by King's Military Adviser and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff Gen. Mashal Al Zaben, included strategic mobilisation operations, where participants showed high levels of skills and competence, according to a Royal Court statement.

His Majesty expressed his admiration of the skills, high morale participants showed during the drill, and the level of planning and cooperation among the forces.

Biden praised the "distinguished level" JAF has reached in different fields, commending the Kingdom's role in combating extremism, as well as its contributions in maintaining the regional security and stability, the statement added.

By Mohammad Ghazal

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