Trudeau to Host Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Ottawa on Wednesday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will welcome King Abdullah II of Jordan to Ottawa on Wednesday, for his seventh visit to Canada since he became the monarch in 1999. The two leaders will discuss the peace and security situation in the Middle East, including the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the prospects for a lasting ceasefire and a two-state solution.

King Abdullah II
King Abdullah II

Jordan’s King Abdullah II: A Key Ally in the Middle East

King Abdullah II of Jordan is one of the most influential and respected leaders in the Middle East, and a key ally of Canada and the international community. He has been a staunch advocate for peace, stability, and moderation in the region, and a supporter of the Palestinian cause and the two-state solution. He has also been a vocal critic of the Israeli occupation and the expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

King Abdullah II has also played a vital role in addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where more than 2,000 people have been killed and more than 100,000 displaced since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023. Jordan, which shares a border with Israel and the West Bank, has been providing humanitarian aid and medical assistance to the people of Gaza, and has been coordinating with Egypt and other countries to facilitate the delivery of relief supplies. King Abdullah II has also participated in an air drop of humanitarian aid to Gaza on Sunday, along with other Jordanian officials.

Canada and Jordan: A Strong and Longstanding Partnership

Canada and Jordan have a strong and longstanding partnership, based on shared values and interests, and a mutual commitment to peace and security in the Middle East. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1967, and have since developed close cooperation in various fields, such as trade, development, defence, security, education, and culture.

Canada and Jordan have a free trade agreement, which came into force in 2012, and a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement, which came into force in 2014. The two countries also have a bilateral assistance program, which focuses on supporting Jordan’s economic and social development, especially in the areas of education, health, governance, and gender equality. Canada has also provided humanitarian and stabilization assistance to Jordan, which hosts more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees, and has contributed to the UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights, where Jordan is the lead nation.

Canada and Jordan have also collaborated on various regional and international issues, such as the fight against terrorism, the promotion of human rights, the reform of the UN, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two countries have also supported each other’s candidacies for various multilateral positions, such as the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court.

Trudeau and King Abdullah II: A Personal and Productive Relationship

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and King Abdullah II have a personal and productive relationship, which has been strengthened by their frequent interactions and exchanges. The two leaders have met several times, both bilaterally and multilaterally, and have discussed a range of issues of mutual interest and concern, such as the Middle East peace process, the situation in Syria and Iraq, the refugee crisis, the climate change, and the global economy.

The most recent meeting between Trudeau and King Abdullah II took place in January 2023, when the Jordanian ruler visited Canada to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the global food insecurity. The two leaders expressed their solidarity with Ukraine and their condemnation of Russia’s aggression, and agreed to work together to address the humanitarian and security challenges posed by the conflict. They also discussed the efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition around the world, and pledged to increase their support for the UN World Food Programme and other agencies.

The upcoming meeting between Trudeau and King Abdullah II on Wednesday will be another opportunity for the two leaders to reaffirm their friendship and partnership, and to explore new ways to enhance their cooperation and coordination on the pressing issues facing the Middle East and the world.

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