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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Vice President Harris and Foreign Minister Blinken Welcome King Abdullah II’s Visit

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomes King Abdullah II of Jordan to the US State Department on Tuesday (20/7).

The visit is part of the Jordanian king’s week-long visit to the United States. Abdullah has already met with President Joe Biden and plans to meet a number of US congressional leaders this week.

The meeting with Biden is also an opportunity for the king to underscore his close relationship with the US president following the coup attempt against him.

Bassem Awadallah is a US citizen and served as a top aide to King Abdullah II, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, was found guilty of sedition charges.

They were accused of conspiring with Prince Hamzah, the king’s half brother. Biden, who has known Abdullah for years, was quick and public about expressing “strong US support for Jordan” and praising the Jordanian king’s leadership after details of the coup attempt were revealed in April 2021.

Abdullah has had a difficult relationship with former President Donald Trump, who is seen as undermining the chances of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians over the 2017 declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Abdullah also deplored the Trump administration’s efforts on the Abraham Accords – deals with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco to normalize relations with Israel but ignore the Palestinians.

But Biden has no plans to reverse the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The Biden administration even praised the Trump-brokered deal – a rare example of a Democratic administration speaking positively about previous administrations.

Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris hosted Jordan’s King Abdullah II for breakfast at the US Vice President’s residence. This is Harris’ first face-to-face meeting with a leader from an Arab country.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the importance of US-Jordan relations and cooperation between the two countries on regional issues. [mg/jm]


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