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The New Arab

Jordan's Abdullah to probe Trump administration on Middle East

Abdullah has taken a central role in supporting a push for a peace process [AFP]

Date of publication: 27 January, 2017

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Jordan's King Abdullah II will visit the United States on Monday to meet with the new US administration and Congress

Jordan's King Abdullah II will visit the United States on Monday to meet with the new US administration and Congress, the Jordanian embassy announced on Thursday, marking the first visit for an Arab leader following the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

"HM King Abdullah II will start a working visit to US on Monday during which he will meet w/new administration & Congress," the Jordanian embassy in Washington tweeted.

It did not specify whether Abdullah will meet with Trump during the visit.

The visit comes as Trump prepares to sign an executive order to ban all refugees and suspend visas for citizens of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Iran.

Jordan has seen a huge influx of refugees since the Syrian conflict began in 2011. According to the UN, the kingdom is hosting over 650,000 Syrian refugees, although the Jordanian authorities say as many as 1.3 million Syrian refugees are now living there.

Jordan and Syria share a 370-kilometer (230-mile) border, but Jordan closed the final crossing point in 2015 after rebels seized the Syrian side.

Abdullah has taken a central role in supporting a push for a recent peace process.

The Jordanian king concluded a visit to Moscow this week, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discussed the Syrian peace process.

Abdullah said Russia's role was important in reaching a settlement in Syria, while Putin thanked Jordan for supporting recent Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan this week.

"Thanks to our joint efforts, the process is developing on the basis of a very important decision that we managed to achieve - the ceasing of military action, a ceasefire between the government forces and the armed opposition," Putin said at a meeting in Moscow with Abdullah.

Jordan is part of a US-led military campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria but has scaled back its role following IS' capture and execution of a Jordanian pilot in 2015.

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