King Abdullah II of Jordan welcomes Chinese role in Middle East

King Abdullah II of Jordan on Monday welcomed the role China is playing in the Middle East, saying it is trying to bring stability to Iraq and to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Appearing with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Abdullah said he was committed to strengthening Jordan's traditionally warm ties with Beijing.

"China has played such a vital role in our region, whether it's a role in the peace process or trying to bring stability to Iraq," Abdullah said. "We hope that its role continues to grow and strengthen.

In the early 1980s Jordan was one of China's largest trading partners, acting as a major conduit for Chinese weapons shipments during the Iran-Iraq War. In recent years Beijing has stepped its Middle Eastern activities substantially, deepening ties with Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf countries that supply it with more than 50 percent of its oil imports, reports the AP. I.L.

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