US President Joe Biden will meet Jordan’s King Abdullah at the White House today.
King Abdullah is expected to request Biden’s assistance in returning stability to Jerusalem amid an uptick in violence around the sacred Al-Aqsa compound.
Jordan grants Israel custodianship over the Muslim and Jewish holy sites ever since Israel took the West Bank in the 1967 war. However, Israeli-Jordanian ties experienced a downturn given Jordan recently voiced support for Palestinians, calling Jerusalem holy sites occupied Palestinian land. Israeli forces are unlikely to end a series of raids they say are in response to attacks by Palestinians in Israel, further antagonizing the situation.
Concurrently, King Abdullah will also use this trip to discuss securing further US financial aid. A 2018 Memorandum of Understanding secured a five-year financial aid package for Jordan pending available funds, which amounted to $1.65 billion last year.
In the short-term, expect the Biden administration to focus on diplomatic efforts to lower regional tensions. Domestically, parts of the Democratic Party will likely urge Biden to take a harder stance on Israeli human rights violations yet avoid upsetting US-Israeli relations. Further, expect the US to sign off on further financial aid given its commitment to stability in the Middle East.
Sabrine is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a graduate student at Yonsei University in South Korea, specializing in foreign policy and security in East Asia. Previously, she contributed as a freelance writer for online publications and worked as a sub-editor for the Daily NK.