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Jordan’s King Abdullah to be first Mideast leader to visit Biden White House

US president extends invitation for monarch to visit on July 19, likely preceding meeting with Bennett, for which no date has been announced

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

King Abdullah II of Jordan, right, meets with US Vice President Joe Biden, at the Husseiniya Palace in Amman, Jordan, March 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)
King Abdullah II of Jordan, right, meets with US Vice President Joe Biden, at the Husseiniya Palace in Amman, Jordan, March 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II will travel to the US later this month and will be the first Middle East leader to visit the Biden White House.

An official invitation for the Hashemite monarch, his wife Queen Rania and his son Prince Hussein was announced on Tuesday in a statement from the White House.

The visit will take place on July 19.

While the White House last week announced that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had also been invited to meet Biden for the first time, a date for that visit has yet to be set.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Abdullah’s visit “will highlight the enduring and strategic partnership between the United States and Jordan, a key security partner and ally of the United States.”

“It will be an opportunity to discuss the many challenges facing the Middle East and showcase Jordan’s leadership role in promoting peace and stability in the region,” she said in a statement.

Abdullah will also meet with senior administration officials, congressional leadership, as well as members of Washington think tanks, the Royal Hashemite Court said in its own statement on the visit.

“The visit comes on the heels of ongoing Jordanian diplomatic efforts led by His Majesty, including a meeting with Palestinian [Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas, and participation in the fourth trilateral Jordanian-Egyptian-Iraqi summit in Baghdad,” the royal court said.

In April, Jordanian authorities broke up an alleged plot by the half-brother of King Abdullah to try to take a throne he was once in line to inherit. Prince Hamzah has since been silenced, and his purported co-conspirators are on trial behind closed doors in a rare moment of turmoil for one of the strongest Western allies in the region.

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