Biden hosts Jordan’s king amid tough choices in Mideast

Washington, Jul 19 (AP):
President Joe Biden is set to host King Abdullah II of Jordan during one of the most difficult moments of the Jordanian leader’s 22-year rule and at a pivotal time in the Middle East for Biden.
Abdullah arrives Monday afternoon at the White House. Last week a Jordanian state security court sentenced two former officials to serve 15 years in prison over an alleged plot against the king uncovered earlier this year that involved Abdullah’s half-brother.
Meanwhile, Biden, who has put much of his foreign policy focus on China and Russia in the early going, faces some difficult issues in the Middle East.
He is dealing with stepped-up attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militias at the same moment that his administration is trying to nudge Iran back to the negotiating table to revive the nuclear agreement that Donald Trump abandoned during his presidency.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the meeting will be an opportunity to discuss the many challenges facing the Middle East and showcase Jordan’s leadership role in promoting peace and stability in the region.
Abdullah had a difficult relationship with Trump, who he saw as undercutting a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians with his 2017 declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
He also chaffed at the Trump administration’s pursuit of what officials called the Abraham Accords deals with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco that normalised relations with Israel but left out the Palestinians.
Biden has no plans to reverse U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital, and his administration has even offered praise for the Trump-brokered accords a rare instance of the Democratic administration speaking positively of the former administration’s policy-making.
Biden officials plan to stress to Abdullah that the accords are not an end run” on finding the way to a peace deal that includes a Pales tinian state, according to a senior administration official who was not authorised to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The two leaders are expected to discuss the situation in Syria more than 1 million Syrian refugees have fled the war-ravaged nation for Jordan and a wobbly security situation in Iraq, the official said.

Related Articles

Back to top button