Blinken, Jordanian FM, discuss 'need for calm' in Jerusalem over religious holidays

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan released a statement on the Middle East situation as well

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 25, 2021. (photo credit: FLASH90)
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 25, 2021.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Friday “to reaffirm the deep strategic relationship between the United States and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”

“The Secretary and Foreign Minister discussed the need for calm in Jerusalem during April as Muslims, Jews, and Christians celebrate Ramadan, Passover, and Easter,” the State Department said in a statement. “The Secretary also spoke of his recent participation in the Negev Summit and ways regional partners can work together to support the Palestinian people.”

Also on Friday, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej. She expressed her condolences following the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Israel, the State Department said. “They discussed efforts to strengthen Israeli-Palestinian economic relations in a way that brings tangible improvements to the quality of life of the Palestinian people while also enhancing and deepening Israel’s integration in the region.”

The two also spoke about efforts to expand normalization and the importance of building on normalization agreements to further progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace track, the statement reads. “They discussed the importance of all Palestinians and Israelis living safely and securely with equal measures of freedom, dignity, and prosperity. The Deputy Secretary reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to a two-state solution and the importance of reducing inter-communal tensions in Israel ahead of the religious holidays.”

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan released a statement on the Middle East situation as well. As we approach the Holy Month of Ramadan this weekend, we welcome the proactive diplomacy underway with our friends and partners across the Middle East region,” he wrote. “These efforts are central to President Biden’s agenda of forging a more secure and integrated Middle East region through a combination of deterrence against adversaries and diplomacy wherever possible to reduce tensions and de-escalate ongoing conflicts.”  

 FOREIGN MINISTER Yair Lapid, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meet with the Bahraini and UAE foreign ministers at the Negev Summit on Monday. (credit: JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/REUTERS) FOREIGN MINISTER Yair Lapid, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meet with the Bahraini and UAE foreign ministers at the Negev Summit on Monday. (credit: JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/REUTERS)

“We also stand by our friends who face threats from terrorists, as seen over the past week in Israel,” he wrote. “Our entire administration stands behind our Israeli allies as they work to confront threats to their citizens.”

In reference to the visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Jordan, Sullivan wrote: “We are grateful for the visionary role of these leaders and for the important role that King Abdullah II plays as custodian over the Holy Sites in Jerusalem, particularly over the upcoming Holy Days.”

“The United Stands will stand with its friends – and we are hopeful that this upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan will bring comfort and peace to peoples across the Middle East region,” he added.

Addressing the Negev Summit, Sullivan wrote: “We now aim to further expand this circle of like-minded states. [The] conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement between the UAE and Israel exemplifies the new opportunities that are emerging in the region and upon which our administration is working to facilitate and strengthen.”