Egypt's al-Sisi in Jordan talks amid U.S. push for anti-Iran alliance

14.01.2019

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi landed Sunday in Amman where he discussed with Jordanian King Abdullah II about regional issues, against the backdrop of the United States seeking to build a front against Iran.

The visit comes days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to Jordan and Egypt, part of an ongoing trip in the Middle East aimed at reassuring Washington's allies that it will not retreat from the region, despite President Donald Trump's recent decision to pull American troops from war-torn Syria.

The royal court said in a statement the Jordanian monarch and al-Sisi reviewed the latest regional developments, including those of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the crisis in Syria, a neighbour of Jordan.

A devastating war is winding down in Syria after Russia-backed forces of President Bashar al-Assad have made territorial gains against rebels in recent months.

In recent weeks, several Arab countries have signalled a thaw in their ties with al-Assad, whose country was suspended from the Arab League months after the eruption of the strife in 2011.

Sisi and King Abdullah II called Sunday for "intensifying efforts" to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis in order to preserve the country's territorial integrity. They agreed to continue "co-ordination for serving Arab interests and fulfilling security and stability in the region," the statement added without elaborating.

During his current trip in the region, Pompeo has unveiled efforts to create an Arab NATO-style alliance aimed at counterbalancing Iran, a country he has called the "world's largest state sponsor of terror."

The proposed Middle East Strategic Alliance is to comprise a Saudi-led Gulf grouping, as well as Egypt and Jordan. All are traditional U.S. allies.    (dpa)

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