Jordan’s King becomes first Arab leader to speak with Biden since election

Middle East country is key partner to Washington in fight against ISIS

King Abdullah of Jordan became the first Arab leader to speak with Joe Biden since he won the US election earlier this month. Reuters
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Jordan’s King Abdullah II spoke with US president-elect Joe Biden by phone on Monday, in the first call between the Democratic winner and an Arab leader since the election was declared on November 7.

The Jordanian Court announced the conversation on its official Twitter account.

"His Majesty King Abdullah II, in a phone call with #US president-elect Joe Biden, expresses keenness to continue bolstering the strategic partnership between the two countries to expand co-operation, in service of mutual interests and regional security and stability," the tweet said.

The two men spoke in February 2016, when Mr Biden was vice president under Barack Obama, about the conflict in Syria and the fight against ISIS.

King Abdullah visited the White House later that month.

Jordan is a key member of a US-led military coalition against ISIS, strategically placed between Iraq and Syria, where the terror group carries out most of its activities.

So far, about 15 global leaders have called Mr Biden, including those of the UK, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.

The only other Middle East leader who has spoken with him this month is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi was the first leader from the Arab world to call Mr Biden's predecessor, President Donald Trump, after he won office in 2016.