U.S. President Joe Biden hosts Jordan’s King Abdullah at the White House Monday with several key regional issues on the agenda, as well as a show of support for the Jordanian leader after a challenge to his rule.
“It 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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. She called Jordan “a key security partner and ally of the United States.”
Monday’s meetings are expected to include discussion of the situation in Syria, where a decade of conflict has pushed more than 1 million Syrians into Jordan, as well as neighboring Iraq, where U.S. forces have been the target of attacks by Iran-backed militias.
Other topics include efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, dormant Israel-Palestinian peace talks, and the Trump-era Abraham Accords that saw Israel normalize relations with four Arab states.
Abdullah’s in-person visit with Biden is the first by a Middle East leader since the U.S. president took office in January. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi is scheduled to go to the White House next week, and the Biden administration is planning a visit for Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Last week, a Jordanian security court sentenced two former officials to 15 years in prison for allegedly conspiring with the king’s half-brother, Prince Hamzah, to instigate unrest against the monarch while seeking foreign assistance.
The former officials were arrested in April, and Hamzah was placed under house arrest, though he was never charged. All three denied the accusations against them.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.