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King returns home following US, UK tour

May 22,2014 - Last updated at May 22,2014

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah arrived home on Thursday after a working visit to the US, preceded by a visit to the UK. 

The King on Wednesday received a telephone call from US President Barack Obama during which the two leaders discussed the latest regional developments, especially the situation in Syria, according to a Royal Court statement.

The two leaders also discussed ways to enhance bilateral ties and the Jordanian-US strategic cooperation, said a Royal Court statement.

His Majesty also discussed with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon the latest developments, especially efforts to achieve peace and  solve the Syrian crisis.

In a telephone call during his stay in New York, the King asserted Jordan’s position in support of all efforts to achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, in accordance with the two-state solution, relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, a Royal Court statement said.

Regarding the Syrian crisis, the King emphasised the need to arrive fast at a political solution for the crisis, which would end the suffering of the Syrian people, highlighting in this context the growing burdens on Jordan’s resources as a result of the increasing influx of Syrian refugees.

On Tuesday in Washington, King Abdullah and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed developments in the Middle East, especially in relation to peace efforts and the Syrian crisis.

The Monarch called on increasing efforts to push for resuming the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks in order to address final-status issues, arriving at the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with the 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In relation to the situation in Syria, the King  reiterated his call for a political solution to the crisis that would end the suffering of Syrians and preserve the unity and coherence of its people.

The King  also attended in New York a special conference held by Clinton Foundation to support Jordan’s national plan to empower local communities hosting Syrian refugees, prepared by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.

In remarks at the meeting, attended by influential US figures and non-governmental institutions, the King  reviewed the impact of the Syrian crisis on Jordan as a result of hosting 1.3 million Syrians, including 600,000 registered refugees, making Jordan the world’s third largest host of refugees.

His Majesty started his visit to the US with a meeting with investment leaders from US Angel Investment Group in San Francisco who are interested in supporting entrepreneurs and start-up projects in the world. 

He also delivered a speech at the Innovative Jordan Conference hosted by the University of California in Berkeley.

The speech highlighted available opportunities in the ICT sector and electronic content that made the Kingdom  a pioneering centre in this field regionally and internationally.

In addition, he and CEOs of major US  companies convened and discussed boosting investment relations between Jordan and the US.

The Monarch briefed his audience on the investment opportunities available in Jordan, especially in the ICT sector.
He also paid a visit to business incubator “Plug and Play” for IT manufacturing in Sunnyvale, San Francisco, which supported major US companies.

The King was briefed on the exerted efforts to empower start-up companies in ICT, and how Jordan can benefit from this experience to enhance and sustain the environment needed for start-up companies in this sector.

The Monarch also met with main representatives of civil society organisations on the US West Coast during his visit to Los Angeles in California.

Discussions covered the latest regional and international developments, where King Abdullah highlighted the Kingdom’s stance towards the Syrian crisis, warning against the fallout of a prolonged conflict on the Syrian people, neighbouring countries and the entire region.

During his meeting with leading US and international filmmakers, discussions covered ways the Jordanian market can benefit from their experience in the field.

They also discussed opportunities to benefit from the Kingdom’s natural resources and significant tourism sites, such as Petra, Jerash, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea, in filmmaking and production.

His Majesty also visited the UK on May 11 and attended the 9th Combined Cavalry Memorial Parade as a guest of honour. 

The parade, held with the participation of senior British military figures, included military exercises, awards and decorations of armoured regiments’ servicemen, according to a Royal Court statement. 

The armoured battalion includes the Light Dragoons, in which the King had served in a leading post while receiving his military training after graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. 

The Light Dragoons is considered the oldest and most important battalion of the UK army. 

On the next day, His Majesty delivered a lecture at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London

The King described the drive towards comprehensive reform as “a strategic option” that is in line with the aspirations of Jordanians for a better future. 

Addressing members of the college staff and students, the King said Jordan — in response to the adverse effects of regional changes — has sought to promote a culture of tolerance, dialogue and co-existence as an alternative to hard-line positions, bigotry and close-mindedness.

Turning to regional developments, the King reaffirmed Jordan’s position in support of a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian crisis that guarantees the unity of Syria’s territory and people, warning against the fallout of the crisis’ continuation on the Syrian people, neighbouring countries and the entire region.
He highlighted the growing burdens that the Kingdom is shouldering as a result of the continued influx of Syrian refugees, which drains its limited resources, calling on the international community to double its assistance to the Kingdom to enable it to perform its humanitarian mission. 

On the sidelines of the lecture, the King met with students at the college, including Arabs and Jordanians.

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