‘Jordan will continue to control Temple Mount,’ Blinken tells King Abdullah

Blinken and Abdullah discussed “Jordan’s essential role as a custodian of Muslim holy places and the importance of preserving the historic status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

On the final stop of his trip to the Middle East, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman on Wednesday.

At a press conference after the meeting, Blinken praised King Abdullah for his leadership and efforts towards promoting “stability, economic opportunity, and justice across the region.”

The two men discussed “Jordan’s essential role as a custodian of Muslim holy places, and the importance of preserving the historic status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites,” Blinken said, referring to the Jordanian-administered Waqf that oversees the Temple Mount.

“Jordan also plays a vital role in the West Bank, as the U.S. reengages with the Palestinian people and reopens our consulate in Jerusalem, we’ll have a lot of work to do together as well,” he added.

Acknowledging the events of recent weeks, which saw widespread rioting on the Temple Mount and throughout Israel, Blinken said he’d discussed strategies on handling the issues with Abdullah.

Blinked said he and Abdullah talked about “the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Mount…the evictions of Palestinians who’ve been living in homes for decades, even generations…incitement to violence, [and] payments to prisoners who, or their families who been engaged in acts of terrorism.”

The two men share a “strongly-held view that it’s really incumbent on all sides to, again, avoid taking any steps that could potentially reignite this cycle of violence.”

“I commended King Abdullah for Jordan’s leadership supporting Middle East peace and reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Jordan strategic partnership,” Blinken wrote on his Twitter account Thursday morning, just before departing from Amman.

Blinken’s trip was largely aimed at strengthening the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups after an 11 day clash, and smoothing over strained ties in the region.

He met with Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders before concluding his visit with the stop in Jordan.