Joran’s King Abdullah on Monday became the first Arab head of state to meet at the White House with US President Joe Biden on Monday, where the two leaders discussed economic challenges made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as “opportunities to enhance peace and stability in the Middle East.”
During the meeting, according to a readout from the White House, Biden not only “expressed his strong support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict,” but also expressed his “respect for Jordan’s special role as custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem.”
This support came a day after Jordan protested clashes between Muslim worshippers and Israeli police at Al Aqsa Mosque compound ahead of the visit of over 1,600 Jews to the Temple Mount to mark the Ninth of Av fast, which commemorates the destruction of two Jewish temples on the site. Biden also “commended the important role Jordan plays in the wider stability of the region and welcomed the recent trilateral summit in Baghdad between Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.
The two leaders discussed the enormous challenges in Syria and the importance of a broad humanitarian initiative to reach all Syrians in need.” Biden, in the Oval Office with Abdullah before the start of their meeting, told reporters, “We’ve been hanging out together for a long time. It’s good to have him back in the White House.” The men have known each other since before the long-serving king assumed the throne and since Biden served in the US Senate.