Washington – The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the latest chemical attack in Syria and terrorism prevailed over the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the White House on Wednesday.
During a joint press conference, Trump said that bilateral talks focused on efforts to eradicate the ISIS terrorist group and push Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts forward.
In the wake of the chemical massacre in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, which claimed the lives of dozens of civilians, reporters asked Trump about his strategy for the Syrian crisis, and whether it would differ from policies adopted by his predecessor, Barack Obama, especially with regards to dealing with the use of chemical weapons against civilians.
Trump described Tuesday’s “horrific” chemical attack in Syria against “innocent people” as an “affront to humanity”.
“Such heinous action by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated,” he stated, adding that his administration would respond appropriately to this attack, without elaborating.
Asked about Iranian militias engaged in the war in Syria, Trump said that the nuclear deal made during the term of Obama’s administration was one of the worst he had ever seen.
“It should never have been made. It was totally one-sided against the United States, and, frankly, against much of the Middle East,” he said.
“But I will do what I have to do [with respect to the Iran deal] and we’ll work to eradicate ISIS and other terrorist groups,” he added.
King Abdullah, for his part, expressed appreciation for the close relationship with Trump and American people, highlighting their “strategic partnership on so many levels to face the challenges of the future”.
He noted that current challenges were “not exclusive to the Arab region”, citing the threat to world security as a globally shared challenge.
“Terrorism has no border, no nationality, no religion,” the Jordanian monarch stated, calling for a joint and holistic approach, which he described as “crucial”.
The King underlined the need for a political solution to end the conflict in Syria and preserve the country’s unity and territorial integrity.
He also condemned the gas attack, calling it a “testimony to the failure of the international diplomacy to find a solution to this crisis.”
“At the end of the day, it is civilians, women and children, that are paying the heaviest price,” he said.
Citing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as “the core conflict in the region,” he noted that Trump’s “early engagement was aimed at bringing the Palestinians and Israelis together.”
King Abdullah thanked Trump for his country’s support for Jordan, stressing the “key role” of the US in helping Jordan bear the burden of the refugee crisis.
However, he highlighted the need for the international community to increase its support to Jordan, the Arab region, and the US in their efforts to restore global peace and security.