- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

President Trump spoke Tuesday night with King Abdullah II of Jordan, as he works to strengthen relationships with leaders of Muslim countries ahead of his visit this week to the Middle East.

In the phone call, Mr. Trump and King Abdullah reaffirmed the importance of cooperation between their countries, the effort to end the civil war in Syria and the shared fight against the Islamic State, said the White House.

The discussion mirrored the message Mr. Trump will take Friday to Saudi Arabia, where he’ll meet with a group of leaders from Muslim countries and urge them to take a larger role in confronting radical Islamic terrorism.

Mr. Trump then will visit Israel and the Vatican City in Rome in a historic journey by a president to holy sites of three major world religions. After that, his first trip abroad as president will continue to a NATO leaders summit in Brussels and a G-7 leaders meeting in Sicily.

The call with King Abdullah was the latest in a series of outreaches by the president to Middle East leaders. He met at the White House this week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the leader of United Arab Emirates.

In the phone call with King Abdullah, Mr. Trump discussed the upcoming trip.

The two leaders also talked about efforts to end the crisis in Syria, and agreed on the urgent need to de-escalate violence and create conditions that can bring a lasting resolution to the conflict, said the White House.

The president reiterated the commitment of the U.S. to Jordan’s stability, security and prosperity, and thanked the king for Jordan’s critical contributions in the shared fight to defeat the Islamic State terror group, or ISIS, the White House said.

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