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Biden praises Jordan king in White House meet expected to broach Abraham Accords

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WASHINGTON (AP) — US President Joe Biden praised King Abdullah II of Jordan as a stalwart ally in a “tough neighborhood,” as the two leaders huddled at the White House on Monday, a meeting that came at a pivotal moment for both leaders in the Middle East.

Last week, a Jordanian state security court sentenced two former officials to 15 years in prison over an alleged plot against the king uncovered earlier this year that involved Abdullah’s half-brother.

Meanwhile, Biden, who has put much of his foreign policy focus on China and Russia in the early going, faces some difficult issues in the Middle East. He is dealing with stepped-up attacks against US troops in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militias at the same moment that his administration is trying to nudge Iran back to the negotiating table to revive the nuclear agreement that Donald Trump abandoned during his presidency.

“You have always been there, and we will always be there for Jordan,” Biden said during an Oval Office appearance with Abdullah and his son, the Crown Prince Hussein.

Biden noted that he first met Abdullah when he was a US senator and Abdullah was the crown prince.

Abdullah had a difficult relationship with Trump, whom he saw as undercutting any chance for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians with his 2017 declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He also chafed at the Trump administration’s pursuit of the Abraham Accords — deals with Bahrain, the........

© The Times of Israel

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