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Tuesday May 10, 2011 11:43 AM (EST+7)
Obama to host Jordan king for Middle East talks

Read more: King Abdullah, Jordan, Barack Obama, US policy, US foreign policy, negotiations, peace process, Arab revolts

WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) - US President Barack Obama will host Jordan's King Abdullah on May 17 to discuss unrest across the Middle East and the quest for Arab-Israeli peace, the White House said on Monday.

The visit by the king, a player in past US-led Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, comes three days before Obama meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whose relationship with the president has sometimes been strained.

Obama's attempts to broker a Middle East peace deal have yielded little since he took office, but he has insisted there is an urgent need to seize the opportunity created by political upheaval in the broader Arab world.

This is a period of profound change in the Middle East and North Africa, as people across the region courageously pursue the path of dignity and self-governance, Obama said in a statement marking Israel's Independence Day.

We will continue our efforts with Israel and others in the region to achieve a comprehensive peace, including a two-state solution, and to working together toward a future of peace, security and dignity for the people of Israel and all the people of the region.

Together with Egypt, Jordan is one of only two Arab states to have signed peace deals with Israel, a close US ally.

Jordan has also not been immune from political turmoil sweeping the region.

Street protests in March, coinciding with democracy demonstrations that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and threatened other authoritarian rulers, prompted Abdullah to sack his unpopular prime minister.

The president looks forward to discussing with King Abdullah the latest regional developments, ways to cooperate on political and economic reform, the White House said in a statement. The president also welcomes continuing consultations with King Abdullah on the pursuit of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Laura MacInnis)






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