First Arab leader to hold talks with new Trump administration
King Abdullah II, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, will begin a visit to the United States on Monday, the Jordanian embassy said on Thursday, the first Arab leader to hold talks with the new administration of President Donald Trump.
“HM King Abdullah II will start a working visit to US on Monday during which he will meet w/new administration & Congress,” the Jordanian embassy in Washington said on Twitter.
It did not say whether a meeting between Abdullah and Trump was scheduled.
King Abdullah has just finished a visit to Russia where President Vladimir Putin thanked Jordan for supporting the Syrian peace process. Jordan is part of a US-led military campaign against Daesh in Syria.
Less than a week into his presidency, Trump told ABC News on Wednesday that he would “absolutely do safe zones in Syria” for refugees fleeing violence and that Europe had made a mistake by admitting millions of refugees from Syria.
The creation of safe zones would ratchet up US military involvement in Syria and mark a major departure from former President Barack Obama’s more cautious approach. Increased US or allied air power would be required if Trump chose to enforce “no fly” restrictions, and ground forces might also be needed to protect civilians in those areas.
King Abdullah’s visit comes as Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that would include a temporary ban on all refugees, and a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Iran.
Jordan has been overwhelmed by the influx of refugees since the Syrian conflict began.