Biden to host King Abdullah II of Jordan on Thursday amid tensions in Middle East

Andrew Harnik
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the InterContinental Presidente Mexico City hotel in Mexico City, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Biden will meet Thursday with King Abdullah II of Jordan, a National Security Council spokesman told The Hill, with the two leaders expected to discuss their vision for the Middle East and the war in Ukraine.

Biden will host the king for lunch at the White House during Abdullah’s multiday trip to Washington, D.C. The king met Tuesday with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Jordan is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East and is home to many Palestinian refugees.

The two leaders will focus on how Jordan can help defuse tensions in Jerusalem, and Biden will underscore the need to “preserve the historic status quo” at the Temple Mount, a holy site in Jerusalem.

The president is expected to thank Abdullah “for his close partnership and the role he and Jordan play as a force for stability in the Middle East,” a National Security Council spokesperson said.

The meeting comes amid particularly heightened tensions in the Middle East.

An Israeli raid on a camp in the occupied West Bank led to the deaths of 10 residents on Thursday, the majority of whom were gunmen, according to Reuters. One day later, at least seven people were fatally shot near a synagogue in Jerusalem on Friday, when worshippers were observing Shabbat.

The casualties came amid a tension-filled month — and year — among Israelis and Palestinians. Last year marked the one of the deadliest for fatal fighting between Israel and Palestine.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week traveled to the region, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian officials in a bid to deescalate tensions and discuss efforts to find a two-state solution.

Tags Abdullah II of Jordan Antony Blinken Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy

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