News / Middle East

Obama, Jordan's King Discuss Mideast Developments

President Barack Obama meets with Jordan's King Abdullah II in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., May 17, 2011
President Barack Obama meets with Jordan's King Abdullah II in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., May 17, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

At the White House on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama and Jordan's King Abdullah discussed the popular uprisings in the Middle East and efforts to move Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts forward.

The talks began a week of intense Middle East-related activity for the president, which will include a major address Thursday on the U.S. approach to the upheaval and political changes in the region, followed by his meeting on Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The president said he and King Abdullah shared views on the "extraordinary changes" in the region, including the situation in Libya and what Obama called "rapid transformation" in places like Egypt and Tunisia.

"We both agreed that it is critical that not only does political reform proceed, but economic reform accompanies those changes there because so much of what is taking place has to do with the aspirations of young people throughout the Arab world, for their ability to determine their own fate, to get an education, to get a job to be able to support a family," said Obama. "And that means that some of the old structures that were inhibiting their ability to progress have to be reworked."

The president said their talks included "reform efforts" taking place in Jordan. He also said the United States welcomes initiatives that will be good for the security and stability of Jordan, and the economic prosperity of the Jordanian people.

Thanking the president for U.S. economic support for Jordan and its reform process, King Abdullah said Jordan will continue to be a strong partner with the United States on all issues in the Middle East. He reiterated his view about the importance of settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"I am delighted to be back here, and again to take this opportunity to thank you and your government for the tremendous support that you are showing Jordan economically, and the support of the United States and a lot of our friends internationally, on really being able to push reform in an aggressive manner in our country and again your continued interest and support on the core issue of the Middle East, which is the Israeli-Palestinian peace," said Abdullah.

Mideast peace efforts have been complicated by the issue of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, and a unity accord between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

Obama reiterated a view that he and administration officials have stressed in recent months, that an Israeli-Palestinian settlement has become even more important against the background of developments in the region.

"Despite the many changes, or perhaps because of the many changes that are taking place in the region, it is more vital than ever that both Israelis and Palestinians find a way to get back to the table and begin negotiating a process whereby they can create two states that are living side by side in peace and security."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the president's speech on Thursday will be an opportunity for him to assess the historic changes in the Middle East, and to explain to the world how his administration will support these changes and the democratic aspirations of the people in the region.

Carney avoided going into specifics on what Obama will say about the Israel-Palestinian peace process, saying he would leave that for the president on Thursday. He did say, though, that the moment of opportunity the president likely will discuss in his address applies to everyone in the Middle East, including Israelis and Palestinians.

"This is a moment of opportunity, and not just for other countries in the region, but for Israeli and the Palestinians as well," said Carney.  "There is historic change taking place in the region."

Against the backdrop of that historic change, Carney said that President Obama believes it is incumbent upon political leaders in the region to take steps that encourage positive change.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid