Obama and King Abdullah Press Conference

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hello, everybody. Take your time, guys. We’re going to answer a few questions.

First of all, I just want to welcome His Majesty King Abdullah to the White House. This is a first visit by a leader of another state; in part, it’s reciprocity for the extraordinary hospitality that the King and Queen showed me when I visited Jordan prior to the election — in which the King had personally drove me to the airport. And I won’t tell you how fast he was going. (Laughter.)

But more importantly, it’s representative of his excellent leadership internationally, as well as a unmatched friendship with the United States upon a whole range of issues. I think that King Abdullah represents a modern approach to foreign policy-making in the Middle East, a approach that is able to see many different sides of an issue, that is obviously constantly mindful of Jordanian interests, but also seeks to resolve issues and conflicts in a peaceful and respectful fashion.

We are very pleased to have been able to work so closely with his government for many years. It is a great friendship between two great countries and two great peoples. And I am confident that that friendship will only be strengthened.

Very briefly, we spoke obviously about a Middle East peace process, my commitment as well as his to moving that process forward with some sense of urgency. We spoke about the broader hope on a range of issues related to Iran and Afghanistan; the issues of terrorism in the region. We spoke about the impact that the economic crisis may be having on both our countries and the need to promote effective international cooperation around those issues. And I’m confident that in the months and years to come our partnership and our friendship will continue to grow.

So I’m grateful to him for having visited and look forward to seeing him back in his own country sometime soon.

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