US President Barack Obama will host Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House December 5 to discuss ways to "calm tensions in Jerusalem," as well as other regional issues, the president's spokesman said Wednesday.
Obama will consult with the king 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,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
A spate of violent attacks in east Jerusalem and a deadlock over Israel-Palestinian peace talks has raised fears of another outbreak of warfare there.
The visit also comes amid a US-led air campaign to beat back Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, where a three-and-a-half-year-old war has killed more than 195,000 people.
“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.
Noting the close ties between the United States and Jordan, Earnest added “this meeting is another opportunity to continue our work together to promote peace, prosperity, and reform in the Middle East.”
During a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman in mid-November, Abdullah called on Israel to halt its “repeated attacks” against holy sites in Jerusalem, especially the Al-Aqsa mosque.
The Jordanian leader reaffirmed that the only way to achieve peace was the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.