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Obama calls Jordan’s King, discuss Syria, region
By Ariel Ben Solomon
22/05/2014
Jordan prepares for visit by Pope: “We hope the visit will push for achieving stability in the region, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”
 
US President Barack Obama called King Abdullah of Jordan on Wednesday and spoke about the Syrian war and how it is affecting the region.

Abdullah emphasized the need for a political solution to the conflict as his country has already taken in 600,000 registered Syrian refugees.

They also spoke about ways to increase strategic cooperation. Obama complimented the king’s efforts to achieve regional peace and stability as well as its absorption of Syrian refugees, The Jordan Times reported.

On Tuesday night, Abdullah met with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department and discussed the crisis in Syria and the now-suspended peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

Abdullah told Kerry that it was important to renew the negotiations and reach an agreement to establish a Palestinian state. The king added that the US should continue its key role in managing the talks and that a permanent solution is needed for the conflict, which is a core one in the region, Jordan’s embassy in Washington stated.

Abdullah told Kerry it was necessary to maintain the territorial integrity of Syria. He returned to Jordan on Thursday from his visit to the US.

Also on Wednesday, two Israelis were arrested in Jordan, Channel 2 reported on Thursday.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem confirmed the arrests, but the circumstances remained unclear.

“The incident is known to us, and the Israeli Embassy in Jordan is handling the situation. The Israelis are believed to have legal representation,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Jordan is preparing to receive Pope Francis on Saturday.

“We hope the visit will push for achieving peace and stability in the region, including the Israeli- Palestinian peace process,” government spokesman Muhammad al-Momani said on Wednesday, AFP reported.

The pope will meet with Abdullah, conduct mass at Amman International Stadium and meet Syrian refugees during his visit.
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