Friday, December 8, 2023

Jordan cancels planned summit with Biden and other Middle East leaders after Gaza hospital strike

Jordan has canceled a planned Wednesday summit between United States President Joe Biden and the leaders of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority after an Israeli raid on a hospital in Gaza killed hundreds of people, the country's foreign minister announced.

“There is no point in doing anything at this time other than stopping this war,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Al Jazeera Arabic early Wednesday morning.

“There is no benefit to anyone in holding a summit at this time.”

Biden was scheduled to visit Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday after making a trip to Tel Aviv earlier in the day.

A White House official told reporters traveling to the region with Biden that the US president will “postpone” his trip to Jordan after consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and taking into consideration the days of mourning announced by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.

“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. He looks forward to consulting in person with these leaders soon, and agreed to remain regularly and directly engaged with each of them over the coming days,” the White House official added.

The White House made the announcement shortly after Biden boarded Air Force One en route to Israel.

Palestinian officials have blamed Israel for the deadly attack.

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