Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Attend Luncheon with US Congress Members

March 06, 2008

(Royal Hashemite Court – Media & Communication Directorate – Washington, D.C.) - At a lunch today with Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Al Abdullah and His Highness Prince Zeid Raad, Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Charles Boustany (R-LA), Brian Baird (D-WA) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) announced the formation of the Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus.

For decades, the United States and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan have been allies and friends. The new bipartisan caucus seeks to strengthen bilateral relations between Jordan and the US. The caucus will be co-chaired by Congressmen Schiff and Boustany, and Congressmen Baird and Fortenberry (R-NE) will serve as vice-chairs.

“We have great appreciation for the friendship and solidarity that our good friends in the US have shown us,” said His Majesty King Abdullah II. “The strength of our partnership is nowhere better reflected than during my meetings in the chambers of the US Congress.”

“It was an honour and pleasure to meet with Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Al Abdullah today, and I appreciate their commitment to the close friendship between our nations,” Schiff said. “I also want to thank them for their support of this new caucus, and I look forward to finding ways to work together with Jordan to advance our shared interests and build on our relationship.”

“Jordan remains a key ally of the US, and we hope the caucus will help to further strengthen this relationship,” Boustany said. “We have a common vision - peace and stability in the Middle East. I look forward to working together towards this noble goal.”

“The Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus provides a great opportunity for members of Congress to build ties with Jordan, a country that for decades has been a positive visionary on the fronts of democratic reform, women's rights, and economic development in the Middle East,” said Congressman Baird. “I have great admiration for the King and Queen of Jordan and their entire nation, and will continue to develop one-on-one relationships with business and community leaders in Jordan to help strengthen the friendship between our two great nations.”

“Jordan is an invaluable friend to the United States,” Fortenberry said. “It was a distinct honour to host King Abdullah II today at the formal introduction of the Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus, which I believe will provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen our nations' efforts to foster peace, stability, and opportunity throughout the Middle East.”

The Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus will work to educate and to inform Members on issues related to our bilateral relationship with Jordan. The mission of the Caucus is to support a strong relationship between Jordan and the United States and to facilitate the exchange of ideas between Members of the House of Representatives and Jordanian officials.

Caucus members noted that Jordan has played an important role in advancing peace between Israel and the Palestinians and accommodating more than half a million Iraqi refugees who have fled violence in Iraq, as well as supporting security and stability in its eastern neighbour.