Obama, Jordan's King Abdullah to meet Feb 14 in California

by Reuters
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 22:31 GMT

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WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Jordan's King Abdullah will discuss Syria and the Middle East at a Feb. 14 summit to be held at a California retreat, the White House said on Wednesday.

Obama met China's President Xi Jinping at the same location last June, the Sunnylands retreat in Rancho Mirage, California. Jordan is feeling the strain from the civil war in neighboring Syria and is providing refuge to thousands of Syrians who have fled across their shared border.

The White House said the two leaders, who met last March in Amman, will also discuss strengthening the U.S.-Jordan political, economic and security cooperation.

"The two leaders will also continue consultations on regional developments, including Middle East peace and Syria," a White House statement said. The Sunnylands retreat will offer the two leaders an out-of-the-way setting in the California desert.

Jordan, one of the U.S.' closest allies in the Middle East, is a regional player in diplomatic efforts seeking a Middle East peace and is one of two Arab countries, the other being Egypt, that has signed a peace treaty with Israel.

But Jordan has not been involved in the latest round of U.S.-brokered talks, driven by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. (Reporting by Steve Holland, editing by G Crosse)

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