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Obama to host Jordan’s king at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama will host Jordan’s King Abdullah II, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, at the White House next week.

The White House says the Jan. 17 meeting will focus on advancing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as other economic and security issues in the region.

Earlier this month, Jordan hosted the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators in more than a year. While there were no breakthroughs, both sides agreed to continue the dialogue.

Abdullah faced some Arab Spring-style protests last year demanding that he loosen his absolute control over his kingdom. He enacted a series of reforms to try to address the demands of protesters.

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