President Biden on Monday praised King Abdullah II of Jordan as a “loyal and first rate pal’ as the 2 leaders met at the White House, a crucial go to for a Mideast chief who discovered himself sidelined below former President Donald J. Trump.
King Abdullah is the primary Arab head of state to go to the White House since Mr. Biden took workplace, an indication that the United States needs to raise Jordan as soon as once more to its conventional function as a regional peacemaker.
“We’ve been hanging out collectively for a very long time,” Mr. Biden stated Monday, as the 2 sat within the Oval Office forward of their bilateral assembly. “It’s good to have him back in the White House.”
Although Mr. Biden’s overseas coverage priorities are closely targeted on China and Russia, the Middle East is a area that the brand new administration rapidly discovered it can not afford to disregard. The go to additionally comes as Jordan has been struggling amid coronavirus restrictions and as King Abdullah has needed to fend off an alleged plot — involving his personal half brother — to overthrow him.
During his 22 years in energy, King Abdullah has been seen by American presidents as a reasonable, dependable ally within the Middle East, typically taking part in the function of envoy from the Arab world in Washington.
That particular relationship ended with Mr. Trump, who favored working with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States as an alternative.
“Trump’s departure is a huge relief to him,” stated Martin S. Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and a former particular envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
King Abdullah, for example, was not consulted on the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan, which in its unique model supplied for annexation of the Jordan Valley. And King Abdullah was additionally frightened that American support to Jordan was in jeopardy through the Trump period.
The United States has been the most important supplier of help to Jordan since 1994, when Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel, in line with Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, director of the Israeli-Palestinian battle program at the United States Institute of Peace.
“As much as this administration has tried not to get consumed by the Middle East, it is very much focused on preserving stability there,” Ms. Kurtzer-Ellenbogen stated. “It sees Jordan’s role as key in that and one that was eclipsed in the last few years.”
The king and Mr. Biden have a protracted friendship that dates again to earlier than King Abdullah assumed energy and when Mr. Biden served within the Senate.
King Abdullah, who was accompanied by his eldest son, Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, famous that he “had the privilege of knowing you with my father decades ago.”
King Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, dominated the nation for greater than 40 years earlier than his loss of life in 1999. He added, “this is very warming for me to be able to see you in this position.”
Jordan is a small nation with restricted energy within the area, and King Abdullah’s problem is to attach with extra highly effective nations, like Egypt and Israel, as a way to reveal that he can nonetheless play a crucial function that justifies American assist for Jordan. Experts within the area stated they anticipated him to current Mr. Biden with concepts for activity forces that would promote a extra secure state of affairs in Syria and different elements of the tumultuous area, and new alignments designed to maintain Iraq as an ally within the Western world.
King Abdullah’s spouse, Queen Rania, didn’t attend the assembly on Monday, however was scheduled to have tea with the primary woman, Jill Biden.
On Monday, Mr. Biden praised the king for his “vital leadership in the Middle East.”
“You live in a tough neighborhood,” Mr. Biden stated.