Biden and Jordan's King Abdullah II meet at White House

Two leaders discuss reducing Israel-West Bank tension

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US President Joe Biden and Jordan's King Abdullah II met at the White House on Friday to discuss “urgent mechanisms” to stop a spate of violence that has taken place in Israel and the West Bank over the past two months.

“The leaders consulted on recent events in the region and discussed urgent mechanisms to stem violence, calm rhetoric and reduce tension in Israel and the West Bank,” the White House said in a statement.

Tension in the region is high, with a wave of attacks in Israel that have killed at least 18 people since March 22. A total of 31 Palestinians and three Israeli Arabs were killed during the same period, an AFP tally showed.

Mr Biden “affirmed his strong support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and cited the need to preserve the historic status quo at the Haram Al Sharif”.

This is King Abdullah's second visit to Washington since Mr Biden took office.

King Abdullah has been in the US capital most of this week and earlier on Friday met Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon.

“Jordan is a valued leader in a difficult neighbourhood and a powerful partner for stability and security in the region,” Mr Austin said at the meeting.

“Our partnership with Jordan is more important than ever … because of our long-standing friendship, as well as the threats that we face today, including Iran's support for terrorism, the rise of drug smuggling in the Levant and the continued threat of violent extremist organisations.”

Updated: May 13, 2022, 7:26 PM