Feb 8, 2024 - World

Jordan king to be first Arab head of state to visit Biden at White House since Oct. 7

U.S. President Joe Biden and King Abdullah II of Jordan meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, July 19, 2021.

King Abdullah II and President Biden meet in the Oval Office on July 19, 2021. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jordanian King Abdullah II will meet President Biden at the White House next week to discuss the war in Gaza and the growing tensions in the region.

Why it matters: The king will be the first Arab head of state to visit the White House since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. The trip, which also includes stops in Canada, France and Germany, is aimed at mobilizing "international support for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza," the Jordanian Embassy in D.C. said.

  • The Biden administration is facing widespread criticism in the Arab world over its support for Israel and reluctance to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

What they're saying: "President Biden and King Abdullah II will discuss the ongoing situation in Gaza and efforts to produce an enduring end to the crisis," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

  • "Towards that end, the two leaders will discuss U.S. efforts to support the Palestinian people including through enhanced humanitarian assistance into Gaza and a vision for a durable peace to include a two-state solution with Israel's security guaranteed," she added.

What to watch: King Abdullah is expected to also meet with Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and members of Congress.

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