Nancy Pelosi leading bipartisan delegation in Jordan amid Syria chaos

Elias Hubbard
October 20, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior Congressional Democrats - Foreign Affairs committee chairman Eliot Engel, Homeland Security Committee chairman Bennie Thompson, Intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff and Representative Mac Thornberry - as well as Mac Thornberry, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, on Saturday met with His Majesty King Abdullah, who was accompanied by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, in a polite clash of political interests: namely the king's guests were adamant against President Donald trump's pullout of U.S. troops from Turkey's border with Syria, and His Majesty refused to add his voice to their criticism.

Her visit to Jordan comes just days after a showdown at the White House with President Trump over the latter's withdrawal of USA troops from northern Syria.

Turkey agreed on Thursday to suspend its offensive for five days, demanding the Kurdish forces withdraw from a designated strip of the border about 30 kilometers deep (19 miles).

Pelosi announced the surprise summit in a press release Saturday, saying the delegation has met with King Abdullah II, Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein and other Jordan officials.

The scheduled talks in Jordan come as both Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claim the other side is violating terms of a 120-hour cease-fire brokered by the USA and Turkey on Thursday.

"Our bipartisan delegation is visiting Jordan at a critical time for the security and stability of the region", Pelosi said in a statement Saturday.

Jordan News Agency says Abdullah stressed in the meeting the importance of safeguarding Syria's territorial integrity.

"The meeting also covered regional and global efforts to counter terrorism within a comprehensive approach", the agency said.

The Congressional delegation included Democrats Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who is leading the impeachment probe into President Trump; Eliot Engel, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

Although touted as a "bipartisan" delegation, the group includes just one Republican - Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, ranking member of the House Armed Services Commitee.

Many Democrat and Republican lawmakers say that the US pullout could make way for rivals like Iran and Russian Federation, who back Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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