Jordan Cancels Biden Summit With Arab Leaders After Gaza Hospital Blast
Jordan has cancelled a summit with United States President Joe Biden and Egyptian and Palestinian leaders to discuss Gaza scheduled in Amman on Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported quoting the country’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.
Safadi said the meeting would be held at a time when the parties could agree to end the “war and the massacres against Palestinians” and blamed Israel with its military campaign for pushing the region to “the brink of the abyss”.
Biden had been scheduled to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and Palestinian Authority president Mahmound Abbas after first visiting Israel.
According to Al Jazeera, Jordan’s King Abdullah would have hosted the four-way summit, which would have on its agenda the need to get humanitarian assistance to Gaza to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.
Abdullah has blamed Israel for a blast at a Gaza hospital that killed about 500 Palestinians on Tuesday, saying it was a “shame on humanity” and called on Israel to immediately end its military assault on Gaza.
The cancellation reflects an increasingly volatile situation that will test the limits of US influence in the region as Biden visits Israel on Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported.
The White House earlier in a statement said that US President has postponed his visit to Jordan after Tuesday’s explosion at a Gaza hospital that killed hundreds of people.
Initially, Biden was supposed to travel to Jordan after visiting Israel during its conflict with Hamas.
“After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and in light of the days of mourning announced by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and President Sisi of Egypt,” a White House official said.”
“The President sent his deepest condolences for the innocent lives lost in the hospital explosion in Gaza and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded. He looks forward to consulting in person with these leaders soon, and agreed to remain regularly and directly engaged with each of them over the coming days,” the official added.
Biden departed for Israel from the Joint Base Andrews, Maryland on Tuesday.
“I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted. Immediately upon hearing this news, I spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and have directed my national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened,” Biden said in a statement before he boarded Air Force One for Israel.
“The United States stands unequivocally for the protection of civilian life during conflict and we mourn the patients, medical staff and other innocents killed or wounded in this tragedy,” Biden said.
John F Kirby, spokesman for the White House had on board the Air Force One told reporters that Biden had spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before leaving for Israel, the New York Times reported.
Biden would talk to both Mr. Abbas and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt on his return flight, the US official said.
Upon reaching Israel on Wednesday to stand in solidarity in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack, he will consult on the next steps with top Israeli leaders there.
Sharing on his social media, ‘X’, Biden said on Tuesday, “I’m travelling to Israel tomorrow to stand in solidarity in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack and to consult on the next steps. I’ll then travel to Jordan to meet with leaders and address dire humanitarian needs–and make clear that Hamas does not stand for Palestinians’ right to self-determination.”
However, his visit has been called off for now and he would now, will only be visiting Israel.On Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to Israel, US’ National Security Council (NSC) coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby in a video posted by White House on X, earlier today said,
“The President will spend a lot of time talking about the humanitarian situation in Gaza for the Palestinian people…This is a critical time, a critical trip, and a very important opportunity, not just for the President, but for leaders across the region to make sure that we send a strong signal to terrorists and a strong signal to innocent civilians who are impacted by this conflict,” Kirby said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken while addressing a press conference on Tuesday informed that President Biden is coming to Israel at a “critical moment” and will reaffirm the US’ solidarity with Israel.”
He further added by saying that President Biden will continue to coordinate closely with the Israeli partners to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas.
Blinken noted that President Biden will also receive a comprehensive brief on Israel’s war aims and strategy. (ANI)
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