Blinken underscores status quo importance in a call with Jordanian FM

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirms Israel visit plans.

 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Tunisian President Kais Saied (not pictured) during the US-Africa Leaders Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC (photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/POOL VIA REUTERS)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Tunisian President Kais Saied (not pictured) during the US-Africa Leaders Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC
(photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/POOL VIA REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Friday, “to discuss bilateral and regional issues critical to the strategic US-Jordan relationship and regional stability.”

According to the State Department, Blinken underscored “the importance of preserving the historic status quo at Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and expressed appreciation for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s special role as custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.”

“Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the US commitment to regional stability and integration, including support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Negev Forum, and a just political solution in Syria consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” the State Department said in a readout of the call.

Other topics they discussed

The two also discussed the implementation of the fourth Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Partnership between the United States and Jordan, which includes support for King Abdullah II’s economic reform program.

“Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the US commitment to regional stability and integration, including support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Negev Forum, and a just political solution in Syria consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.”

US State Department

Also on Friday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed that he intends to visit Israel. “I will be going to Israel,” he told NPR in an interview. “We’re still working out the timing that works both for me and for my hosts in Israel. But I do intend to make a trip there.”

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi attends a news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov following their talks in Moscow, Russia February 19, 2020. (credit: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/REUTERS)Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi attends a news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov following their talks in Moscow, Russia February 19, 2020. (credit: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/REUTERS)

He stressed that “the first thing that I intend to convey is the fact that the United States is absolutely committed to Israel’s security, and that’s not going to change,” said Sullivan. “President Biden has been a fundamental and stalwart supporter of the state of Israel for as long as he’s been in public service,” he added.

“We’re going to talk through the challenges and opportunities in the Middle East region. There are significant challenges, including the threat posed by Iran,” he continued. “On the other hand, there are real opportunities, including what we’ve seen in the deepening normalization between Israel and some of the Arab states.”

He also emphasized that the administration “continues to support the two-state solution,” and “will oppose policies and practices that undermine the viability of the two state solution or that cut hard against the historic status quo in Jerusalem – and I will be clear and direct on those points,” he said.