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Jordan's King Abdullah set to visit White House

King Abdullah of Jordan and Obama will discuss Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 February, 2016

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President Barack Obama and Jordan's King Abdullah II will hold talks on Wednesday focused on resolving the conflict in Syria.

US President Barack Obama will holds talks with key ally King Abdullah II of Jordan on Wednesday following the announcement of a ceasefire in Syria earlier this week.

The White House says the two leaders will focus their talks on resolving the conflict in Syria and meeting the needs of war-stricken refugees.

Jordan shares a border with Syria and Iraq, and Abdullah's visit to the White House takes place as his country struggles to accommodate more than 630,000 Syrian refugees.

Earlier this month, King Abdullah said that Jordan had reached "breaking point" over the Syrian refugee influx.

The influx has overwhelmed the resource-poor country of 9.5 million people - including migrants and refugees - much of which is desert.

In 2016 alone, the refugees will cost Jordan $2.7 billion, according to Amman.

The meeting comes at an important moment in the five-year civil war in Syria, as Washington and Moscow work to install a fragile ceasefire designed to help end the conflict.

The two sides agreed on the terms and conditions for the "cessation of hostilities" on Monday in attempts to prevent the gaining of new ground.

In 2016 alone, the refugees will cost Jordan $2.7 billion

The truce, set to start on February 27, excludes the Islamic State group and the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, as well as any other group deemed a "terrorist organisation" by the UN Security Council.

Riyadh is a key ally of the US [click to enlarge]


Terms of the US-Russia-led ceasefire deal were accepted by the Syrian government on Tuesday, agreeing to halt its armed operations.

However, Damascus said it would "continue counter-terrorism efforts" against the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda affiliates.

Syrian opposition factions voiced concerns over the exclusion of the Nusra Front from the truce, calling it "problematic".

"The critical issue here is that civilians or the Free Syrian Army could be targeted under the pretext of targeting al-Nusra," said Khaled Khoja, head of the Syrian National Coalition.

The White House also says Obama and the king will discuss how best to advance prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Yemen conflict, in which Saudi Arabia has been bombing the joint forces of the Houthi rebels and troops loyal to ousted President Saleh - leading to widespread civilian casualties - is not thought to be on the agenda for the White House discussions.

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