Obama, Jordan's King to Meet This Week Over Regional Crises

ISIS, Syria, refugees and Jerusalem are on the meeting's agenda.

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Haaretz
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Jordan's King Abdullah speaks during the opening of the second ordinary session of the 17th parliament session in Amman, November 2, 2014.
Jordan's King Abdullah speaks during the opening of the second ordinary session of the 17th parliament session in Amman, November 2, 2014.Credit: Reuters
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Haaretz

Jordan's King Abdullah II will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House this week to discuss ways to "calm tensions in Jerusalem" and other regional issues, according to the France 24 website.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the two leaders would focus on "efforts to counter ISIL and find a political solution in Syria, provide humanitarian assistance to refugees from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, and take steps to calm tensions in Jerusalem" during their December 5 meeting.

The talks come amid rising tensions on Jordan's borders and a massive influx of refugees into the country from the war in Syria.

In Syria and Iraq, the United States is leading an air campaign against the rampant Islamic group the Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) while Jordan withdrew its ambassador from Israel recently over concern that Israel was attempting to change the delicate status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The king called on Israel to halt its "repeated attacks" against Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman two weeks ago.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently joined Abdullah and Kerry in Amman for a meeting during which it was agreed to take a series of practical steps to de-escalate the crisis over the Temple Mount, Kerry said in an announcement.

"The president looks forward to discussing with King Abdullah opportunities to strengthen the US-Jordan strategic partnership and advance our political, economic, and security cooperation," Earnest said.

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