King Abdullah of Jordan in US for high-level talks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) shakes hands with Jordanian King Abdullah II before their working luncheon at the State Department in Washington, DC, April 4, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has headed to the US in a high profile visit aimed at reinforcing ties with the administration of President Donald Trump.

Abdullah was welcomed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson upon arrival in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

The monarch first held separate meetings with Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster.

Later in the day, he held an official meeting with Tillerson, who threw a luncheon for the king and his delegation.

According to Jordan’s official news agency Petra, the meetings revolved around the strategic partnership between Washington and Amman as well as regional issues such as terrorism.

Abdullah expressed willingness to expand military ties with the US and underscored the importance of such cooperation in addressing the widespread terror threat across the Middle East.

The Syrian peace process as well as Iraq’s war against extremist groups were also high on the agenda, according to Petra.

Abdullah also called for re-launching negotiations between Israel and Palestine, arguing that the absence of a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would lead to more extremism.

Trump has flip-flopped on his support for the two-state solution, causing concern among Arab leaders.

Taking an indirect swipe at Trump’s plans to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem al-Quds, Jordan’s king warned that changing the historical situation in Jerusalem “will have negative repercussions on the entire region.”

He is slated to meet Trump on Wednesday. Abdullah became the first Arab leader to meet Trump in February.

Meeting with Sisi

King Abdullah II also held a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was wrapping up his Washington tour.

According to Petra News, regional and international efforts to jump-start peace talks between Palestine and the Israeli regime were the focus of the meeting.

Fresh off his own meeting with the US president the day before, Sisi agreed with Abdullah that the Amman Declaration, issued at the end of an Arab summit held at the Dead Sea last week, should be used as the basis to achieve peace in the Middle East.

Syria, Iran, Libya and the ongoing battle against terror were some of the other topics addressed in the meeting.

Prior to leaving Amman, Abdullah hosted UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who is on a three-day trip aimed at reinforcing ties with Jordan and Saudi Arabia in the wake of Brexit.

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