Jordan's King Abdullah has working breakfast with US Vice President Harris

Jordanian leader met Joe Biden on Monday during his first trip to White House since president took office

King Abdullah of Jordan joined US Vice President Kamala Harris for a working breakfast on Tuesday at Ms Harris's residence, where the pair discussed bilateral relations and co-operation on regional issues.

Ms Harris expressed appreciation for the enduring strategic partnership between the two countries, a readout of the meeting said.

“The two leaders consulted on the challenges facing both countries related to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the need for swift economic recovery," it said.

They also discussed addressing Jordan’s water shortages through infrastructure upgrades, continued progress in economic reforms and the many challenges facing the Middle East, such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and the importance of supporting stability, security and prosperity in Iraq.

King Abdullah's son, Crown Prince Hussein, also attended the meeting.

This is only the second time Ms Harris has hosted a foreign leader at her home, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week came to the Naval Observatory, the vice presidential residence.

King Abdullah met President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday in what was the president's first meeting with an Arab leader in Washington since he took office in January.

“You've always been there and we will always be there for Jordan,” Mr Biden said as he welcomed the king.

“Many of us leaders in our part of the world will do the heavy lifting, which is what we need to do on behalf of the United States, but you can always count on me, my country and many of our colleagues in the region,” King Abdullah told Mr Biden during their meeting.

Some of the key items on the agenda during the king's visit to Washington have been Jordan's role in maintaining peace in the Middle East, as well as the Covid-19 crisis.

Mr Biden told the king the US would continue to provide vaccine support. The White House also announced the delivery of more than 500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to Jordan as it faces high rates of vaccine hesitancy.

On Sunday, the White House said the Biden administration intended to promote “economic opportunities that will be vital for a bright future in Jordan” during the king's visit.

Queen Rania accompanied King Abdullah on his visit to Washington, meeting first lady Jill Biden at the White House.

“It was lovely joining US first lady Dr Jill Biden at the White House today. Her enthusiasm, warmth and compassion are a pleasure to behold,” Queen Rania said on Instagram.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also met the king on Tuesday. During their meeting, the secretary reiterated his country's strong commitment to the US-Jordanian strategic relationship and conveyed his best wishes to King Abdullah and the Jordanian people for Eid Al Adha.

"Jordan is a powerful, powerful partner for peace, for stability in the region, dealing with ISIS and terrorism, a remarkably generous host to refugees," Mr Blinken said, according to a State Department press release.

King Abdullah is the first leader from the Middle East to visit the Biden White House, to be followed next week by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi.

Updated: July 20th 2021, 8:42 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS