Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Jordan Scraps Biden Summit with Arab Leaders Following Gaza Hospital Explosion

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Jordan has called off a planned summit with United States President Joe Biden and the leaders of Egypt and Palestine, originally set to take place in Amman on Wednesday, according to a report by Al Jazeera, citing the country’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi emphasized the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities, stating, “The meeting would be held at a time when the parties could agree to end the war and the massacres against Palestinians. The Israeli military campaign has pushed the region to the brink of the abyss.”

Originally planned to take place in Amman on Wednesday, the four-way summit, intended to address the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, was called off amidst escalating tensions and tragic events. King Abdullah of Jordan, who was set to host the summit, expressed his condemnation of the recent blast at a Gaza hospital, describing it as a “shame on humanity” and called for an immediate end to Israel’s military assault on Gaza.

Following the cancellation, the White House released a statement affirming that President Biden had postponed his visit to Jordan in light of the recent Gaza hospital explosion that claimed hundreds of lives. A White House official conveyed, “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.”

Departing from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Biden conveyed his outrage and sorrow over the tragic incident in Gaza before boarding Air Force One for Israel. “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,” Biden stated. “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.”

Despite the cancellation of the Jordan summit, the White House reiterated Biden’s commitment to addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and reaffirmed his plans to stand in solidarity with Israel during his upcoming visit.

The situation in the region remains tense as global leaders grapple with the complexities of the ongoing conflict. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored the critical nature of Biden’s visit to Israel, emphasizing the President’s focus on fostering solidarity and cooperation between the US and Israel during this challenging time. Blinken also noted Biden’s dedication to securing the release of hostages held by Hamas and gaining a comprehensive understanding of Israel’s war aims and strategy.

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