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Biden, Harris meet with Jordan's King Abdullah II, reaffirm U.S.-Jordan 'friendship'

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Tuesday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Tuesday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden held a private lunch with King Abdullah II of Jordan Thursday in which the two leaders reaffirmed "the close, enduring nature of the friendship between the United States and Jordan."

"The president thanked his majesty for his close partnership and the role he and Jordan play as a force for stability in the Middle East," a White House statement said. "The president confirmed the unwavering U.S. commitment to Jordan's security and economic prosperity during this time of regional and global challenges, and the leaders discussed opportunities and mechanisms to reduce tensions, particularly in the West Bank."

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Biden "affirmed his strong support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and recognized the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan's crucial role as the custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem, citing the critical need to preserve the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount," according to the White House readout.

U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris also met Thursday with King Abdullah II. Harris reaffirmed the U.S.-Jordanian partnership and commitment to Jordan's security and economic prosperity, according to the White House.

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"The vice president and King Abdullah expressed concern about the recent violence and tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank," a White House statement said. "The vice president underscored the importance of upholding the status quo at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, recognizing Jordan's crucial role as the custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem and as a force for stability."

According to the White House, Harris underscored U.S. support for regional "security, prosperity, and integration, emphasizing that steps to de-escalate tensions, promote moderation, and create meaningful economic opportunities across the Middle East would be essential to advancing these goals."

The Jordanian king also met Wednesday with the Senate Armed Services, Appropriations and Foreign Relations committees, according to a statement on King Abdullah II's web site.

The statement said the king "reaffirmed Jordan's steadfast position towards the Palestinian cause, calling for stepping up international efforts towards restoring calm and de-escalation and reiterating rejection of unilateral measures that undermine peace prospects and push the region into further violence and instability."

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