King Meets Leaders, Members of US Congress Committees

تم نشره في Wed 1 February / Feb 2017. 01:00 AM
  • King Meets Leaders, Members of US Congress Committees - (Petra)

WASHINGTON — His Majesty King Abdullah II, late Tuesday, held separate meetings in Washington, DC, with leaders and members of US congress, during which they discussed the latest developments in the region as well as Jordan's strategic relations with the US.

Meetings, part of which was attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania, also tackled the Kingdom's role in dealing with crises in the region and efforts to combat terrorism in a holistic approach.

The King met with Senate leaders and the heads and members of the Senate's Appropriations Committee and its Armed Services Committee. The Monarch also held talks with the chairpersons and members of the US House of Representatives' foreign affairs and armed services committees, in addition to its subcommittee on state, foreign operations and related programs.

During the meetings, talks covered regional developments, including the peace process, the Syrian crisis and the situation in Iraq.

King Abdullah reiterated that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem will have regional consequences that will undermine the opportunities for peace and reaching the two-state solution and weaken the chances of a success in the war against terrorism.

Moving the embassy from Tel Aviv will have negative impacts on the region’s security and stability, His Majesty said, stressing the importance of the sacred city of Jerusalem’s for Arab and Muslim peoples. Such step, the King explained, will increase the anger and despair among Arabs and Muslims, enabling extremists to further spread their dark ideologies and agendas.

In this regard, he renewed that there is no alternative to the two-state solution, which guarantees justice, freedom and stability, stressing the importance of avoiding measures that may undermine opportunities to resume the peace process.

His Majesty highlighted the need for sustaining the ceasefire in Syria and for fighting terrorism, which, he said, represents the ideal solution to protect Syrian people and ensure peace and security across the country.

The King also highlighted the significance of the unity and stability in Syria and Iraq, as well as the need to work out inclusive political solutions to curb the threat of sectarian division.

The King and the members of Congress also covered the latest developments in Iraq, stressing the need to achieve national conciliation involving all components of the Iraqi society, where His Majesty stressed that supporting the Iraqi national concord is a Jordanian higher interest.

King Abdullah called for international cooperation in the war against terrorism that threatens the whole world, underlining at the same time the need of assessing the consequences of some policies, in order to prevent extremists from boosting their role and isolating Islamic communities in the West.

Talks also tackled means of boosting bilateral cooperation, as well as the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries for further five year period.

King Abdullah praised the role of the US government and Congress in providing economic and military assistance to the Kingdom.

For their part, the heads and members of committees expressed their appreciation of His Majesty’s wisdom and policy on various regional and international challenges, as well as the Kingdom's key role in efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Middle East.

The meetings were attended by Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs, the director of the King's Office and Jordan's ambassador to Washington.

In an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Chairman of the US House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce (R-California), said the King’s vision on various issues is of great significance for the US and for US Congress members.

Royce said His Majesty has excellent relations with several nations around the world and his ability to offer advice on what needs to be done to achieve stability and economic growth in the region, adding that the congress highly appreciates the King’s views on these issues.

Over the years, Royce explained, King Abdullah has provided advice on how to deal with the Syrian crisis, but the international community failed to heed that advice.

Now, His Majesty is trying once again to galvanize international efforts to take the necessary steps to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis and necessary measures to boost stability and end the conflict in the region, Royce added.

"His Majesty has ideas to achieve stability in the region, and he is involved not only with the US but with the world to find solutions to crises and conflicts in the Middle East, Royce said." The head of the House’s Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), also told Petra that the King represents "the voice of reason", welcoming his "deep" insight into the region and the various challenges pressuring Jordan." Lehtinen extended the congresses thanks to His Majesty for the support Jordan offers to refugees, stressing the importance of the long-standing US-Jordanian ties.

Member of the US House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel (D-New York), said that members of the congressional panel highly respect His Majesty, stressing the positive relations between the two countries due to the wisdom of His Majesty and his role as "a man of peace".

"When I feel frustrated on what is going on in the Middle East, and hear His Majesty, it is like breathing fresh air, and it gives me the feeling that there are leaders in the Middle East who can lead the region to peace," Engel said.

He stressed the deep-rooted friendship between the two countries, stressing that members of the committee believe that Jordan is a partner in peace-making, where His Majesty plays a key role towards this end.

As for the repercussions Jordan is facing as a result of the refugee crisis and the US role in helping in this regard, Engel expressed appreciation for the Kingdom’s efforts in shouldering this burden, stressing that his country would continue helping Jordan so that it is not left alone.

"Jordan should not be punished for doing this part as a good neighbour and an effective partner that understands the magnitude and dimensions of the problem," the lawmaker added.

Kay Granger (R-Texas), chairwoman of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, highlighted the importance of the meeting with the King as well as the relations between the US and Jordan, saying they have a special nature and significance.

"His Majesty's visions and views are always helpful when it comes to US relations with the Middle East, especially in light of the various changes in the region," she said.

The meeting, Granger said, tackled the issue of Syrian refugees hosted by Jordan, describing the Kingdom as "peace protector in the region".

His Majesty does not only speak about Jordan’s issues, as he defends all regional causes and seeks peace and stability in the entire Middle East, the congresswoman said.

She also stressed that the US support to Jordan is very essential, referring to a memorandum of understanding that governs the US financial support for the Kingdom, adding that this support is not only important to Jordan but to the US as well, since Jordan serves not only its interests but also those of the region and the world community.