Biden hosts Jordan’s King amid tough choices in Middle East Jill Biden Oval Office United Arab Emirates Kamala Harris

President Joe Biden Jordan is set to host King Abdullah II during one of the toughest moments of the 22-year rule of Jordan’s leader and at a crucial time. Middle East for Biden.

Abdullah arrived on Monday afternoon white House Last week a Jordanian state security court sentenced two former officials to 15 years in prison for an alleged conspiracy against the king, which earlier this year involved Abdullah’s half-brother.

Meanwhile, Biden, who has focused much of his foreign policy early on on China and Russia, faces some tough issues in the Middle East. He is dealing with attacks by Iranian-backed militias against US troops in Iraq and Syria at the same time, while his administration is trying to get Iran back on the negotiating table to revive the nuclear deal. Donald Trump left during his presidency.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the meeting would be “an opportunity to discuss the many challenges facing the Middle East and to demonstrate Jordan’s leadership role in promoting peace and stability in the region.”

Abdullah had a difficult relationship with Trump, which he saw as undermining the peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, with Jerusalem declaring Israel as Israel’s capital in 2017. He also denied the Trump administration’s effort to what officials called the Abraham Accords – related to Bahrain The United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco normalized relations with Israel but left the Palestinians.

Biden has no plans to reverse US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital, and his administration has also offered praise for the Trump-broker agreement – a rare example of a Democratic government showing positive reviews of the former administration’s policy-making. eloquently speaking.

Biden officials plan to emphasize to Abdullah that the agreements are not a “final run” to find a way to a peace settlement that includes a Palestinian state, according to a senior administration official who publicly commented. was not authorized to do so and spoke on condition of anonymity. .

The two leaders are expected to discuss the situation in Syria – more than 1 million Syrian refugees fleeing the war-torn nation for Jordan – and a worsening security situation in Iraq, the official said. At least eight drone strikes have targeted the US military presence in Iraq, as well as 17 rocket attacks, since Biden took office in January.

Abdullah is the first Arab world leader to meet Biden face-to-face. The president is set to host Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the White House next week, and Biden has invited Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, to visit later this summer.

Abdullah will have breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday and will meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday.

The Oval Office meeting with Biden is also an opportunity for King to highlight his closeness with Biden after the attempted coup.

Bassem Avdallah, who holds US citizenship and who once served as a top aide to King Abdullah II, and Sharif Hassan bin Zayed, a member of the royal family, were found guilty of charges of treason and abetment. Both men denied the allegations, and Avdallah’s US lawyer said his client alleged he was tortured in Jordan’s detention and feared for his life.

He is accused of conspiring with the king’s half-brother, Prince Hamza. Biden, who has known Abdullah for years, publicly expressed “strong American support for Jordan” and praised King’s leadership after unveiling details of the coup attempt in April.

Queen Rania and Crown Prince Hussein are expected to be joined by Abdullah for the White House visit. First Lady Jill Biden will host the Queen for tea at the White House.

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