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King of Jordan calls for end to Gaza war during meeting in Washington with US secretary of state

LONDON: During meetings with top US officials in Washington on Tuesday, King Abdullah of Jordan repeated his country’s calls for an end to the war in Gaza and for greater efforts to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the territory.

He also urged the international community to live up to its responsibilities by doing more to prevent the conflict from spreading to other parts of the region.

In talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the king “reaffirmed Jordan’s absolute rejection of any attempts to forcibly displace the Palestinians, reoccupy parts of Gaza, establish buffer zones in the strip, or separate it from the West Bank,” the Jordan News Agency reported.

He warned of the devastating humanitarian and security ramifications of the continuing expansion of Israeli operations in Gaza, and in particular of the dangerous implications of recent Israeli attacks on the southern city of Rafah, where about 1.5 million Palestinians displaced from other parts of the besieged territory have been seeking sanctuary.

“Reiterating that military solutions will lead nowhere and that violence only breeds violence, (the king) said there is no alternative to a political solution to achieve just and comprehensive peace,” the agency said.

King Abdullah told Blinken a two-state solution is the only way to achieve peace and guarantee the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. He also stressed the important need for nations to maintain their financial support for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, so that it can continue to provide vital humanitarian aid.

Blinken highlighted the importance of the partnership between the US and Jordan “as a pillar of stability in the region,” and said his country remains committed to that cooperation in pursuit of regional peace and security.

“He thanked King Abdullah for Jordan’s continued efforts to bring critical humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and they discussed ways to expedite the flow of additional aid to Gaza from Jordan,” the State Department said.

Blinken also reiterated the US commitment to the establishment of an “independent Palestinian state, with security guarantees for Israel,” and discussed options for ending the crisis in Gaza in a way that could provide “lasting peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

The State Department added: “As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, Secretary Blinken also underlined the need to preserve the historic status quo at Jerusalem’s Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount, and recognized the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s special role in the Muslim holy shrines in Jerusalem.”

The king also met Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in Gaza, and had a meeting with a group of senators. He held talks with President Joe Biden on Monday.

During those meetings, the Jordanian ruler again “stressed the need to step up efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and create a political horizon for the Palestinian issue that ends the spiral of violence in the region,” the Jordan News Agency said.

He also called for “protecting unarmed civilians and countering any steps that may displace Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza.”

The king was accompanied during his meetings by Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, and Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

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