US secretary of state meets with Jordan king in Amman

Two men discuss regional developments and 'strategic partnership' between US, Jordan

By Laith al-Juneidi

AMMAN (AA) - Jordanian King Abdullah II on Wednesday met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Amman to discuss the “strategic partnership” between their two countries and the latest regional developments.

“The two sides discussed the ongoing crises in the Middle East region -- including the crisis in Syria -- and stressed the importance of resolving them politically,” a statement released by Jordan’s royal court read.

The two men also reportedly underlined the need to take a “holistic approach” to the regional fight against terrorism.

According to the statement, King Abdullah urged Tillerson to step up efforts to resume the Palestine-Israel peace process “based on a two-state solution that includes an independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

Tillerson, for his part, voiced Washington’s appreciation for the Jordanian role in helping to stabilize the region and taking in numerous Syrian refugees.

Earlier Wednesday, Tillerson and his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi, signed an agreement by which Washington will provide Jordan with $1.275 billion in annual aid over the next five years.

The aid will ostensibly go towards promoting King Abdullah’s reform agenda and offsetting the negative effects of the refugee influx.

Tillerson arrived in Amman late Tuesday as part of a wider Middle East tour that has already taken him to Egypt and Kuwait.

Following his departure from Jordan, the U.S. secretary of state is scheduled to visit both Lebanon and Turkey.

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