President Joe Biden on Monday hosted Jordan’s King Abdullah II for talks at the White House, where he said the United States aimed to boost cooperation between the strategic partners.
The visit to the presidential mansion was the first by an Arab leader since Biden took office six months ago, and served as a show of support by Washington for Jordan in the wake of an alleged plot to overthrow the king by his half-brother.
“We’re going to continue to strengthen our bilateral cooperation,” Biden said as he sat next to Abdullah for an Oval Office photo spray.
Biden thanked the king for his “enduring and strategic relationship” with the United States over the years, noting that the two men have known each other for decades, back to when Abdullah’s father King Hussein ruled the Middle Eastern kingdom until his death in 1999.
“You live in a tough neighborhood,” Biden said.
“You’ve always been there, and we will always be there for Jordan.”
Biden has shifted US policy in the Middle East back to a more traditional line, including support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — something his predecessor Donald Trump sought to circumvent but that Jordan strongly supports.
Abdullah, for his part, spoke of the challenges his country faces in promoting stability in the Middle East, and said Jordan and other allies are prepared to “do the heavy lifting” in the region.
Abdullah’s wife Queen Rania and their son Crown Prince Hussein — heir to the throne — also visited the White House.
The monarch is expected to meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday and also hold talks with members of Congress.