Obama invites leaders from Mid-East for talks on Syria



Washington: US President Barack Obama has invited a number of key leaders from the Middle East to the White House in next few weeks to address a range of global and regional issue like Israel-Palestine peace and Syria.

Leaders from the UAE, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey have been invited to the White House in the next few weeks, according to a series of presidential press announcements on Friday.

"On Thursday, May 16, President Obama will welcome Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to the White House. As friends and NATO allies, the United States and Turkey are partners in addressing a range of critical global and regional issues. The President looks forward to discussing these issues with the Prime Minister, to include Syria, trade and economic cooperation, and countering terrorism," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

"The Prime Minister's visit underscores the close friendship between the United States and Turkey and the strategic importance we place on broadening and strengthening our relationship moving forward," he said.

King Abdullah II of Jordan will meet Obama at the White House on April 26. "The President deeply appreciated the hospitality he received in Jordan last month and looks forward to continuing his consultations with King Abdullah on Jordan's political and economic reforms, the humanitarian crisis in Syria, and additional regional issues of mutual concern," he said.

Jordan is an invaluable ally and close friend.

"King Abdullah's visit is a demonstration of the close partnership between the United States and Jordan," Carney said.

Obama had travelled to Jordan last month.

Obama will welcome to the White House the Amir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, on April 23.

"The United States and Qatar have a strong bilateral relationship, reflecting our close defence partnership, expanding commercial ties, and many other areas of cooperation," Carney said.

The US is firmly committed to continuing to deepen our consultations with Qatar on the many important developments in the region.

"The President looks forward to a broad discussion with the Amir on a range of mutual interests and regional issues to further strengthen our bilateral partnership," Carney said.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates will be at the White House on April 16.

"The President looks forward to discussing with the Crown Prince the strong and enduring ties between the United States and the UAE and consulting on common strategic interests in the Gulf region and broader Middle East," he said.

"The United States and the UAE enjoy a vibrant and expanding bilateral relationship, including strong defence cooperation and economic ties, and a shared commitment to advancing peace, economic opportunity, and stability throughout the world.

"The United States remains firmly committed to continuing to deepen the US-UAE partnership through close and regular consultations between our two countries," Carney said.

PTI