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Pompeo, Kushner, Greenblatt discuss Middle East with Jordan king - source

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Pompeo, Kushner, Greenblatt discuss Middle East with Jordan king - source
FILE PHOTO: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boards his plane at Colonel Jesus Villamor Airbase, in Manila, Philippines, Friday, March 1, 2019, to travel to Washington. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo   -   Copyright  POOL(Reuters)
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By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House senior advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt discussed Middle East peace prospects with Jordan’s King Abdullah on Monday in Washington, an American source familiar with the meeting said.

The 45-minute meeting took place at the Jordanian ambassador’s residence in Washington, the source said.

Kushner and Greenblatt returned recently from a tour of Gulf states during which they sought support from Arab leaders on the economic portion of a Middle East peace proposal that U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to unveil in coming months.

That trip, however, did not include a stop in Jordan.

Release of the Trump peace plan has been delayed repeatedly, particularly after Palestinians erupted in anger when Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.

The current thinking among White House officials is that the plan will be unveiled sometime after Israel holds elections on April 9 that will decide the fate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

King Abdullah also met Vice President Mike Pence on Monday.

Pence’s office said he and the king discussed the fight against Islamic State militants and Trump’s decision to maintain a residual U.S. presence in Syria.

The king is to meet lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, including a coffee with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The king also met on Monday with U.S. acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to discuss military and defence cooperation between Jordan and the United States.

“The meeting covered the latest developments in the Middle East, efforts to reach political solutions to regional crises, and efforts to fight terrorism within a holistic approach and Jordanian-US cooperation in this regard,” the Jordanian embassy said in a statement.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by David Gregorio and Meredith Mazzilli)

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