AMMAN, Jordan — President Barack Obama arrived in Jordan on Friday for the final stop on his four-day visit to the Middle East and a day of meetings with King Abdullah II that are expected to focus on the influx of refugees from the civil war in neighboring Syria.
More than 400,000 Syrians have crossed the border into Jordan to escape the violence, crowding refugee camps and overwhelming aid agencies run by this important U.S. ally in the Middle East. Abdullah has voiced fears that extremists and terrorists could create a regional base in his country.
Obama will also seek to bolster Jordan's efforts to reform its government as it seeks to stave off an Arab Spring-style revolution.
Before arriving in the Jordanian capital of Amman, Obama closed a three-day visit to Israel, another important U.S. ally in the region, by paying respects to the nation's heroes and to victims of the Holocaust. He also solemnly reaffirmed the Jewish state's right to exist.
Accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, Obama laid wreaths at the graves of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism who died in 1904 before realizing his dream of a Jewish homeland, and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995.
He also toured the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, declaring after that the memorial illustrates the depravity to which man can sink but also serves as a reminder of the "righteous among the nations who refused to be bystanders."
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.