The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

March 17, 2013

Obama hopes to keep Mideast from boiling over

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

In a sign of the close military ties between the U.S. and Israel, Obama will view an Iron Dome battery, part of the missile defense system the U.S. has helped pay for.

Traveling to the West Bank, Obama will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah. Obama and Fayyad will visit a Palestinian youth center, another attempt to reach the region’s young people.

Obama will make a 24-hour stop in Jordan, an important U.S. ally, where the president’s focus will be on the violence in neighboring Syria. More than 450,000 Syrians have fled to Jordan, crowding refugee camps and overwhelming aid organizations.

The White House said Obama had no plans to visit a refugee camp while in Jordan, though he will be discussing with government officials how the U.S. can increase its assistance.

In his talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Obama also will try to shore up the country’s fledgling attempts to liberalize its government and stave off an Arab Spring-style movement similar to the ones that have taken down leaders elsewhere in the region.

The president’s final stop will be in Petra, Jordan’s fabled ancient city.

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Follow Julie Pace on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

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Online:

White House: http://tinyurl.com/a9r3lej

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