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Obama in Jordan After Israel Visit


President Barack Obama walks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, right, upon his arrival at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, March 22, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Jordan Friday following a visit to Israel and the West Bank that included talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and calls for the two sides to resume peace efforts.

Obama was given a red-carpet welcome upon landing at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, then was driven to King Abdullah's residence where he was welcomed by a military band.

Later today he is expected to meet with King Abdullah in his residence, where the conversation is expected to touch on Syrian refugees in Jordan, Jordan's economic reforms, bilateral ties and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Obama's arrival to Jordan was delayed due to a sandstorm that engulfed the region during the morning.

Earlier Friday, he travelled to Bethlehem to join Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for a tour of the Church of the Nativity, the site where Christians believe Jesus was born.

Also on Friday, the president visited Israel's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, where he called for tolerance against others.

"This is our obligation: not simply to bear witness, but to act. For us, in our time, this means confronting bigotry and hatred in all of its forms, racism, especially anti-Semitism, none of that has a place in the civilized world," he said.


Accompanied by Peres and Netanyahu, Obama spoke after viewing the Hall of Names: a circular room ringed by thousands of volumes containing names of people killed in the Holocaust.

During his visit to Israel, the president took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the graves of Theodor Herzl - the founder of the movement to establish a Jewish state - and slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

On Thursday, in a speech to university students in Jerusalem, Obama assured his audience of young Israelis that they are "not alone" in facing threats to Israel's security. He added that peace with the Palestinians is the "only path to true security."

Obama said Israeli leaders must recognize that "continued settlement activity" on land the Palestinians claim for a state is "counterproductive." Obama also said he believes Israel has a genuine peace partner in Palestinian President Abbas.

Israeli press reported Friday that Obama met with Netanyahu for several hours Friday to brief the Israeli prime minister on his talks with Abbas.

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