Following a face-to-face meeting at the White House, President Donald Trump and King Abdullah II of Jordan held a joint press conference in the Rose Garden in which they mutually pledged to combat radical Islamic terrorism and work toward a lasting peace agreement for Israel.
"In King Abdullah, America is blessed with a thoughtful and determined partner," the president said. "He is a man who has spent years commanding his country's special forces. He really knows what being a soldier is, that I can tell you.
"And he knows how to fight. The king has been a leader in calling for a plan to defeat ISIS once and for all. And I'm with you on that. We're both leaders on that, believe me. That's what we speak about today, and that is what we are going to do. And it will be a shorter fight than a lot of people are thinking about, believe me. We've made tremendous strides as we discussed."
Abdullah, in his own remarks, discussed the Arab Peace Initiative, which was approved last week at the Arab Summit. He said it offers a "historic reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as all member states of the Arab League."
"It is the most comprehensive framework for lasting peace and it ensures statehood for the Palestinians, but also security, acceptance and normal ties for Israel with all Arab countries and hopefully all Islamic countries," he said. "You will find a strong ally in Jordan in supporting you in all your policies. And if I may just say, as you have, on Syria and the gas attack—unfortunately, as you and I both agree, this is another testament to the failure of the international diplomacy to find the solutions to this crisis. But I believe under your leadership we will be able to unravel this very complicated situation."
Later, during the question-and-answer session, the king reiterated his commitment to the peace process.
"Well, as I said, our peace initiative came out with a resounding resolution to offer peace to the Israelis, to make them feel that they're accepted into the neighborhood, and to be able to support the president as he brings both parties together," he said. "And again, I have to remind people that very early on there was an early engagement by the president and his team to the Israelis and the Palestinians to be able to see what he can do to bring them together.
"It is the core conflict for a lot of us in the region. The president knows this. He has his instincts in the right place. And working with his team, our job, as I said, is to do the heavy lifting. The Arabs are prepared to do whatever they can to bring Israelis and Palestinians together under the leadership of the president."
Abdullah was also asked to explain why he felt Trump's leadership would be effective in establishing lasting peace. The liberal mainstream media might not have been ready for his answer.
"I think, on behalf of the president, what I saw was an early engagement by the president and his team, with all of us in the region, about the challenges between the Israelis and Palestinians," he said. "I had the honor of seeing the president and his team again in January where this was discussed. The president understands the nuances and the challenges. I think he has the courage and the dedication to be able to do this. Like I said before, all of us have a responsibility to help the president push us over the finish line.
"And so, his team had been in the region, they've been talking to all the partners, and it is our job to facilitate the atmospherics between Israelis and Palestinians to move together, and give the support to the president to be able to smooth the edges over between Israelis and Palestinians to achieve this. And the president understands that if we don't solve this problem, how are we going to win the global fight against terrorism, which is his No. 1 priority? So this is a core issue that he understands, and I think he has the commitment and he has my full support for this, as he does from many, many countries in our region."
The entire press conference is available in the video above.
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