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Biden hosts Jordan king to discuss Gaza Monday

US President Joe Biden will host Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Washington on Monday for talks on resolving the Israel-Hamas conflict, the White House said.

The meeting comes as the United States and regional powers try to broker a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages from Gaza, amid hopes of a longer-term solution.

The two leaders will “discuss the ongoing situation in Gaza and efforts to produce an enduring end to the crisis,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday in a statement.

They also will talk about the “US effort to support the Palestinian people including through enhanced humanitarian assistance into Gaza and a vision for a durable peace to include a two-state solution with Israel’s security guaranteed.”

The Jordanian king will be accompanied by Queen Rania for the visit to the White House, which comes as the United States and Jordan mark 75 years of diplomatic relations, Jean-Pierre said.

In Amman, a royal palace statement said Washington would be the first stop for Abdullah on a tour of the United States, Canada, France and Germany to discuss the situation in Gaza.

He will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and several European officials in Germany, where he will attend the annual Munich Security Conference, the statement said.

It will be the first time Biden and Abdullah have met since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel triggered the Gaza conflict.

Biden was meant to travel to Jordan for talks with the king when he visited Israel less than two weeks after the attack, but the meeting was canceled after an explosion at a Gaza hospital caused anger across the Arab world.

Biden later backed Israel’s account that the strike was caused by a malfunctioning Palestinian rocket.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Abdullah in Amman in January. The Jordanian monarch urged the top diplomat to push for a ceasefire in Gaza and end the humanitarian crisis there.

AFP

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