SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning, everyone.  And Your Majesty, it is a real pleasure to welcome you to the State Department, the Crown Prince as well.  We couldn’t be more pleased to have you here.  You’ve had already a remarkably busy and I think productive few days in Washington, of course, with President Biden yesterday, with the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, other colleagues.  I know you’re going to be seeing all the leaders on the Hill over the next couple of days.

But I think it’s a reflection of the tremendous value that the United States places on its relationship with Jordan, a remarkable partnership over many years, many decades.  Jordan is a powerful, powerful partner for peace, for stability in the region, dealing with ISIS and terrorism, a remarkably generous host to refugees.  On so many levels, this partnership demonstrates its importance, its value to us.

And I think it’s also powerful evidence in your agenda here that Jordan has long enjoyed and continues to enjoy strong bipartisan support, and that as well is tremendously valuable.  So, we’re so pleased to have you here.  We have a lengthy agenda following up on the meeting with President Biden yesterday.  Lots to talk about, but mostly, welcome.  Welcome to you, Crown Prince, welcome.  It’s so good to have you as well.

KING ABDULLAH:  Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for those very kind and warm words, and we were all taken by the warmth and generosity of yesterday’s meeting with the President and the First Lady.  And it’s just a reflection, I think, of – not only the old personal relationship, friendship, that I’ve had with the President since he was a senator, when I was a young man, such as my son, with his late Majesty King Hussein.  And I think that’s just a reflection of the – this is a relationship that has just grown so, so much over the years.

And again, as you saw in the meetings yesterday, with all the challenges that we have in our region, how (inaudible) the United States come together in mutual agreement on the challenges that we have.  We have always been very grateful for the support of the United States and the administrations, the Congress, and the American people.

And again, on behalf of all of us, as I said yesterday, we thank this administration for the support on the Pfizer vaccine, which really is, I think, just a testament to the graciousness that you always show our people.

We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder on the challenges that are in our region, and you know that you can always count on Jordan to be steadfast and always be a loyal, strong ally.

Today, we have a lot to talk about.  We have a lot of work to do.  But as always, I think I say from our part of the world it’s up to many of us in the region to do the heavy lifting on behalf of the United States, because you do so much, and count on Jordan and many of my colleagues to do that heavy lifting over the coming years.  And again, thank you for your kindness and your generosity of words.  And I’m very delighted to be here today.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, Your Majesty.  Thank you all.

U.S. Department of State

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