RANCHO MIRAGE, California (AP) — US President Barack Obama on Friday said he would ask Congress to approve new financial aid for Jordan.

Jordan is a key Arab ally in the Middle East whose fragile economy is being stretched by the influx of refugees fleeing the civil war in next-door Syria.

Obama announced late Friday that he will seek $1 billion in loan guarantees. That would be on top of a $1.25 billion loan guarantee Congress approved last year.

He’ll also ask for a new, five-year funding agreement for Jordan. Officials did not immediately say what that would be worth. An existing agreement expires in September.

A loan guarantee essentially makes the US responsible for repaying the money should Jordan default.

Obama announced his intentions in California, where he was meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II to discuss the Mideast peace process and Syria’s civil war.

Abdullah spent the past week in Washington meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, congressional leaders and others.

He concludes his US visit Friday by meeting with Obama at an estate in Rancho Mirage.

Abdullah supports Kerry’s efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

The king is also anxious for a political solution in next-door Syria. His country has been overwhelmed by Syrian refugees crossing the border to flee the bloodshed.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.