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Keeping tabs on U.S. policy in the Middle East is a major duty for Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan, but he still makes time to help save endangered wildlife in his homeland.

That is why he was especially grateful for a gift of 15 advanced Vortex binoculars and spotting scopes from the U.S. Department of the Interior this week. The Jordanian Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature will use the instruments to patrol for hunters who prey on the endangered Nubian ibex, a goat antelope with huge curved antlers.

“This donation is symbolic of the long-standing conservation ties our professional staffs have enjoyed with their counterparts in Jordan,” said Lynn Scarlett, deputy secretary of the interior, as she presented the equipment to Prince Zeid at a ceremony at the Interior Department.

The ambassador expressed his “gratitude on behalf of the Jordanian government.”

Mahdi Quatrameez, head of the society’s wildlife law enforcement division who also attended the ceremony, added, “I am anxious to return to Jordan to get this equipment into the field to support our enforcement efforts.”

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail James Morrison.