King continues meetings with US Congress leaders

AMMAN  — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday continued his discussions with top members of the US Senate and House of Representatives on bilateral ties and regional and international issues.

The King held meetings with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programmes Patrick Leahy and committee members, Chairperson of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee in the House of Representatives Kay Granger, and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez.
During the meetings, the King discussed the issue of US loan guarantees offered to Jordan, and the memorandum of understanding between the two countries in addition to US support to Jordan’s economic development projects, particularly in the fields of water and energy, a Royal Court statement said.
Talks also covered latest developments in the Middle East, particularly regional and international efforts to fight terrorism and extremism, said the statement, which indicated that discussions also focused on efforts to resume peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis according to the two-state solution.
The King and US legislators also discussed ways to support Egypt, and developments in Syria and Iraq.
His Majesty briefed them on Jordan’s efforts to work out a framework for Arab and Islamic cooperation in the region to boost the security and stability of the Middle East.
King Abdullah also pointed out solutions that are necessary to overcome challenges currently facing the region, particularly terrorism and extremism, according to the statement.
His Majesty also addressed efforts to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process in line with the two-state solution, outlining the role the Kingdom is playing in this regard, especially through its membership in the UN Security Council.
The King underlined the current situation in Jerusalem and how Jordan’s efforts have recently led to defusing a crisis, after Al Aqsa Mosque was reopened to worshippers by Israeli authorities.
He also raised the situation in Egypt and the challenges facing the country, urging for enabling Cairo to play its “important and pivotal role” in the region.
He also went over the latest developments in the Syrian crisis, reasserting Jordan’s stand calling for an inclusive solution to end the suffering of the Syrian people, while highlighting Amman’s efforts to support the stability and security of Iraq.
For their part, the heads and members of committees the King met stressed the need to enhance cooperation between the two countries in a manner that enables the Kingdom to achieve socio-economic development, combat terrorism and help make a comprehensive and lasting peace that leads to stability and prosperity for all the peoples of the region.
HRH Crown Prince Hussein, Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh and senior officials attended the meetings.
In an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Leahy voiced appreciation of the King’s pro-stability efforts in the Middle East, adding that the Senate is aware of the burdens borne by the Kingdom as result of hosting Syrian refugees, stressing that not only the US, but also the rest of the world should extend a helping hand to help Jordan continue its relief mission towards the refugees.
Also in remarks to Petra, Granger said King Abdullah always contributes his insight into the region to discussions he holds with congressional leaders, adding that US ties with Jordan are very strong and the US administration is committed to maintaining constant contacts with His Majesty.
She pointed out that the issue of Syrian refugees was one of the main topics discussed with the King.
The Monarch briefed attendees on the social impact and economic burdens resulting from the influx of Syrian refugees on Jordan and the resulting depletion of its already limited resources, she said, noting that the US presented assistance to Jordan in loan guarantees to help the Kingdom carry out its humanitarian mission.
Senator Menendez said the meeting with King Abdullah addressed the relations between the two countries, US support to Jordan and joint challenges, especially in confronting extremist and terrorist groups, besides the challenge of hosting Syrian refugees.
He said the King plays a leading and a decisive role in the region and congressional members are constantly looking forward to listening to His Majesty’s views based on his profound knowledge, adding that the King’s opinions help the lawmakers shape their own views on regional developments.

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