Biden to host Jordan's King Abdullah for Middle East talks

US President Joe Biden will host later today Jordan's King Abdullah in the first of three face-to-face meetings with leaders from the Middle East, news wires reported. Abdullah will have his first Oval Office talks with Biden since the US president took power in January. He will also have a working breakfast with VP Kamala Harris and will meet Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday.

Abdullah is the first Middle East leader to visit Biden in the White House. He is to be followed on 26 July by Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi, while US and Israeli officials are working on scheduling a meeting soon between Biden and new Israeli PM Naftali Bennett.

A senior Biden administration official said the president's talks with the king are expected to include the way forward for Israel and the Palestinians. Tensions remain high in the wake of the 11-day war in May between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

Abdullah's standing in his own country may come up in the talks. Jordan's image as an island of stability in the turbulent Middle East was called into question after Prince Hamza was accused of a plot to destabilise the country in April. Biden has offered full support to Abdullah.

Other topics likely to come up are the future of the Trump-era Abraham Accords, the normalisation deals reached between Israel and four Arab states, negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme and Syria's humanitarian crisis, the official said.

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