President Biden meets King Abdullah II of Jordan, talks Al-Aqsa and 'stemming West Bank violence'

President Biden meets King Abdullah II of Jordan, talks Al-Aqsa and 'stemming West Bank violence'
2 min read
14 May, 2022
Jordan had previously expressed anger over repeated raids by Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa compound, for which the Hashemite kingdom remains custodian.
The Jordanian ruler's visit to Washington is his second since President Biden came to power [Getty]

US President Joe Biden met with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Friday to discuss “urgent mechanisms to stem violence” in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The two leaders met in the wake of Israel's killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh earlier this week and a series of Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa compound during and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"The leaders consulted on recent events in the region and discussed urgent mechanisms to stem violence, calm rhetoric and reduce tensions in Israel and the West Bank," the White House said after the private meeting between the two leaders.  

Washington called Jordan “a critical ally and force for stability in the Middle East".

"The President confirmed unwavering US support for Jordan and His Majesty’s leadership,” according to the White House readout.

King Abdullah II was in the US for the second time since Biden’s election in 2020, where he met with US lawmakers and top defence officials at the Pentagon. The monarch met US military officials last week to discuss boosting defence ties between the two countries.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s role as the custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem also featured heavily in Friday's discussion, at a time when the Al-Aqsa Mosque has frequently come under threat

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Violent incursions into the Al-Aqsa compound by Israeli forces throughout Ramadan caused outrage in Palestine and beyond. 

Palestinians consider Israel's repeated attacks on Al-Aqsa to be a provocation and part of a wider effort to transform the third-holiest site in Islam into a Jewish place of worship, in breach of the longstanding status-quo agreement there.

Relations between Jordan and Israel had improved since Naftali Bennett became prime minister last year, but Amman expressed anger over the raids on Al-Aqsa.

Abdullah appealed last month for "calm" between the two sides.