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Obama, Jordan's king hold brief meeting amid talk of snub

Abdullah had been in Washington for days without meeting Obama
File photo shows Jordan King Abdullah (AFP)

President Barack Obama and Jordan's King Abdullah met for around five minutes at a military base near Washington on Wednesday, hoping to quash suggestions of a White House snub of the monarch.

Before hitting the road to sell his State of the Union address in Nebraska, Obama met Abdullah in the VIP lounge of Joint Base Andrews.

Abdullah had been in Washington for days without meeting Obama, raising questions about the health of a normally close relationship.

White House aides denied there was any snub of the king, citing scheduling problems because of the Tuesday evening primetime address.

"The president regrets that he is unable to meet with him personally on this visit due to scheduling conflicts, including the State of the Union address," a White House spokesperson said.

Abdullah instead met with Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry and Abdullah discussed the fight against the Islamic State group and efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, a diplomat said.

For his part, Carter expressed his "deep appreciation... for Jordan's continued contributions to regional counter-ISIL efforts," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

Obama and Abdullah last met in Washington almost a year ago.

Since then, the fight against the Islamic State group has intensified and efforts to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have yielded nothing.

A Jordanian official said "a meeting with the president will be arranged during an upcoming visit, likely to take place within the coming month or two."

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