King wraps up US visit, reaffirming ‘strength of partnership’

Official summit between His Majesty and Biden ended with talks with an array of senior officials, including Harris

Jordan's King Abdullah meets with US Speaker Nancy Pelosi
His Majesty King Abdullah meets with US Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Washington DC, United States. (Photo: Handout)
AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah returned home on Friday after concluding an official visit to Washington DC, during which he held discussions with US President Joe Biden Vice President Kamala Harris, and key US administration members, as well as Congress leadership and committees.اضافة اعلان

Accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Rania and HRH Crown Prince Hussein, King Abdullah began his three-week visit to the United States on July 1, 2021, at the annual Sun Valley economic forum in Idaho, where he met with key political, business, and media leaders from across the globe to discuss political and economic affairs.

The King’s summit with Biden at the White House sought to “reaffirm the enduring strength of the partnership between the United States and Jordan,” according to a White House statement.

The summit covered expanding the strategic partnership between Jordan and the United States, and regional and international developments, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause.

The King also thanked the United States for providing Jordan with a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.

“We come together as always as strong partners. We have, as you said, many challenges in our part of the world. But you can always count on me, my country, and many of our colleagues in the region.” His Majesty said, according to a Royal Court statement.

For his part, President Biden stressed the United States’ support for Jordan. “You have always been there, and we will always be there for Jordan,” he said.

“Also want to thank you for your vital leadership in the Middle East. You live in a tough neighborhood, and, the fact is, I look forward to hearing from His Majesty about the pressing challenges that Jordan faces,” the president added, expressing readiness to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation.

Discussions also covered developments in the region, especially in Jerusalem, with His Majesty stressing the need to preserve the historical and legal status quo in the city, especially at Al Haram Al Sharif, stressing that Jordan will persist in undertaking its unwavering historical and religious role in safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in line with the Hashemite Custodianship.

The King stressed the need to relaunch serious and effective talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, in order to achieve just and comprehensive peace, on the basis of the two-state solution, noting the importance of ensuring the Palestinian people gain their legitimate rights and establish their independent, sovereign, and viable state, on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

His Majesty King Abdullah was the first head of state from the Middle East to visit the White House since President Biden took office early this year — a symbolic gesture of Biden’s commitment to strengthening the long-standing relationship between Jordan and the United States that has suffered tremendously in recent years. “Both seem to agree that it was on the wrong track during the Trump years, when the Trump White House largely ignored and marginalized Jordan,” Curtis Ryan, professor of political science at Appalachian State University, told Jordan News.

Despite this recent turmoil, King Abdullah has signaled a readiness to revive Jordan’s long-standing partnership with the United States. “There’s a precedent that’s being set here in terms of how much Abdullah prioritizes the United States in Jordan’s broader foreign policy strategy,” said Sean Yom, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and professor of political science at Temple University.

Although the Biden administration has pivoted away from the Middle East as a top foreign policy priority, President Biden has demonstrated a great interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation with Jordan. “The king and the president both put a high value on the US-Jordanian relationship,” said Ryan. “Both see this moment as a reset in bilateral relations and both want to deepen relations diplomatically, militarily, and economically.”

On July 16, His Majesty met with US Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie who referred to Jordan as one of the United States’ most reliable partners and stated that, “Jordan is an important pillar in preserving peace and advancing security throughout the region.”

His meeting with the US vice president covered US support for Jordan, as well as for development projects and others related to the environment and mitigating climate change and its impact on natural resources.

In talks with US Defense Secretary Lloyd, the King and Lloyd reviewed prospects for cooperation in the military and security fields.

In a statement commencing his meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, His Majesty contended that Jordan will continue its cooperation with the US to address developments in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the King also held talks with congressional and Senate leaders, during which he expressed his optimism in the beginning of a new direction towards a future of progress and prosperity that inspires hope and trust in the peoples of the region.

“There seems to be a new spirit of cooperation and coordination between many of my friends around the region and so I come here to Washington to see how we can really turn 2021 into a positive year,” King Abdullah said Thursday in remarks to the media ahead of his meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

His Majesty also held discussions with World Bank Group President David Malpass, and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, in separate meetings, over Jordan’s efforts in implementing economic and development plans seeking to provide job opportunities, enhancing investments, and improving the business environment and basic services, with the goal of achieving growth and providing jobs, while maintaining economic stability and supporting those most impacted by COVID-19 implications.

The King’s working visit also included talks with US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla and Archbishop of Washington Wilton Cardinal Gregory, among others.