US President Joe Biden will host King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House this week, a source familiar with the planned meeting told Al-Monitor on Monday.
King Abdullah is also due to meet with US lawmakers and senior defense officials at the Pentagon later this week, Al-Monitor has learned. The Jordanian monarch is visiting the United States with his wife, Queen Rania, and a delegation of advisers.
Their state visit began in Florida last week when Abdullah met with the top commanders of all US military forces in the Middle East, General Michael Kurilla, and US Special Operations Forces, General Richard Clarke, at MacDill Air Force Base on Friday. .
The context: The Biden administration is seeking to forge new ties with the Hashemite Kingdom, one of Washington’s main allies in the Middle East.
The kingdom, long seen by US policymakers as a pillar of stability in the Levant, has grappled with an economic downturn and high-profile political intrigue in recent years. The Jordanian government is pursuing economic reforms backed by the International Monetary Fund amid an economic downturn exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“In light of ongoing regional unrest, as well as global disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has helped Jordan maintain stability and prosperity through economic and military assistance and cooperation. narrow policy,” reads a fact sheet posted on the State Department’s website last month.
And after: The two governments reached a non-binding $6.375 billion foreign aid agreement in 2018, which expires next year. Abdullah could discuss the renewal of the deal with US officials in Washington this week, a former US official familiar with the matter told Al-Monitor.
The question of the security of holy sites in Jerusalem is also likely to arise, Haaretz reported. The king’s visit follows a series of clashes between Israeli security forces and worshipers around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, leading to rising tensions between Israel and Hamas.
The Jordanian government has sharply criticized Israel’s handling of security at the mosque compound in recent weeks. As the official guardian of Al-Aqsa, the Jordanian government has sought to reform security processes, including presenting a proposal to increase the number of Waqf security officials at the site.