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Why king’s visit to Washington was essential for Jordan

King Abdullah’s visit to the United States, where he met with President Donald Trump, helped reassure Jordanians that US military and economic support for the kingdom will continue.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) welcomes Jordan King Abdullah at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas - RTSY39K

Jordanians are feeling a certain sense of pride following King Abdullah’s recent visit to Washington, where he conferred with key administration and congressional officials and became the first Middle Eastern leader to meet with President Donald Trump. Although Abdullah's Feb. 2 meeting with Trump was brief, taking place on the sidelines of the annual National Prayer Breakfast, it covered an array of issues of particular importance to the Jordanian monarch and the region. The White House issued a statement in which it said that Trump had “conveyed the US’ commitment to Jordan’s stability, security and prosperity.” It added that the president had “highlighted Jordan’s critical contributions to defeating IS [Islamic State] and discussed the possibility of establishing safe zones in Syria.” In addition, it said, Trump “underscored that the United States is committed to strengthening the security and economic partnership with Jordan.” These expressions of commitment signaled the success of the royal visit in the eyes of the king and a majority of Jordanians.

A royal court statement quoted by the Jordan Times said the two leaders also discussed the Syrian crisis, reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and ways to boost their strategic partnership and work jointly to combat terrorism. The newspaper also reported, “The two leaders agreed to hold a summit meeting during an official visit King Abdullah will make to the US soon.”

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