UK's Rishi Sunak meets King of Jordan to discuss Gaza ceasefire

Jordan's monarch warns 'region will pay the price' unless lasting peace is found

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met King Abdullah II of Jordan at Downing Street on Thursday as they discussed the conflict in Gaza.

The two men shook hands before heading inside where they posed for photographs in No 10’s White Room.

During the meeting, King Abdullah stressed the need for a ceasefire in Gaza and the protection of civilians, the Jordanian palace said.

"His Majesty urges the international community to take action to stop the devastating war that has caused a humanitarian catastrophe for which generations in the region will pay the price," the statement read.

Mr Sunak told the Jordanian monarch that the UK ultimately wanted to see a sustainable ceasefire, which would require Hamas to no longer be in charge in Gaza and Israel’s security to be assured.

“The Prime Minister welcomed Jordan’s innovative efforts to deliver life-saving aid to Gaza by land and air, and he set out the UK’s work to unblock aid access and alleviate the humanitarian crisis," Downing Street said.

"The UK was deeply concerned about the humanitarian impact of any offensive on civilians sheltering in Rafah.

“They also discussed the importance of de-escalating tensions in the West Bank and bolstering the role of the Palestinian Authority to deliver security and prosperity.

"The Prime Minister highlighted steps the UK has taken to support stability in the West Bank, including sanctioning extremist settlers.”

Jordan's King Abdullah and Rishi Sunak discuss Gaza in London - video

Jordan's King Abdullah and Rishi Sunak discuss Gaza in London

Jordan's King Abdullah and Rishi Sunak discuss Gaza in London

King Abdullah spent about half an hour with Mr Sunak before leaving at 5pm.

It is their second meeting in London since the outbreak of the latest Gaza-Israel conflict more than five months ago.

King Abdullah has embarked on a diplomatic mission to western countries this month as he tries to gather support for an end of hostilities in Gaza.

On Friday, Jordan's monarch will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

He will also meet several senior EU leaders when he appears at the Munich Security conference at the weekend.

Jordan’s king called for a ceasefire as he appeared alongside US President Joe Biden in Washington this month.

“We cannot afford an Israeli attack on Rafah," King Abdullah said at the White House on Monday. "It is certain to produce another humanitarian catastrophe.

“We cannot stand by and let this continue. We need a lasting ceasefire now. This war must end.”

More than 28,600 Palestinians have been killed, the Gazan Health Ministry says, and 80 per cent of the population are estimated to have fled their homes amid a worsening humanitarian catastrophe.

More than two million Palestinian refugees already live in Jordan, many holding Jordanian citizenship.

The attacks in Gaza followed the events of October 7, when Hamas-led raids in southern Israel killed 1,200 people.

Updated: February 15, 2024, 9:02 PM