WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will host Jordan's King Abdullah II on January 17 and discuss "our shared goal of a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians," the White House said on Tuesday.
The announcement came after Washington praised the efforts of Jordan in convening talks with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Amman which could lead to full-fledged peace talks.
"The president looks forward to discussing a broad range of bilateral and regional economic and security issues during their Oval Office meeting, including King Abdullah's leadership in advancing our shared goal of a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians," a White House statement said.
"The president also welcomes the opportunity to underscore the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and Jordan, and to demonstrate support for the political reforms that King Abdullah II is leading to produce a government that is more transparent, inclusive, and responsive to the aspirations of the Jordanian people," it added.
Obama last week congratulated the king on Jordan's role in the peace process and the two leaders promised to stay in touch on the issue.
Talks in Amman last week between Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat and Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho, sponsored by Jordan and the peacemaking Quartet, were the first direct discussions between the sides in more than 15 months.
That meeting came in the context of efforts by the Quartet, made up of the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia, to kick-start talks that ground to a halt shortly after they began in September 2010.
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