|Rubio Stops in Jordan During Trip to Middle East|
|Arlette Saenz||Feb 18, 2013, 6:14 PM|
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is on a tour of the Middle East this week, which will include a stop in Israel.
Rubio met Monday with King Abdullah II in Jordan along with other members of the Jordanian government to talk about the Syrian war and the economic and security cooperation between the United States and Jordan. Rubio also met with former Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab, who defected to Jordan last year. This marked Rubio's first ever trip to Jordan.
The Florida senator, who is accompanied on the trip by his wife Jeanette, will make his second trip to Israel at the end of the week, when he will meet with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"America's friendship with Israel is a truly special one, and we must continue to do all we can to support this beacon of democracy, religious freedom and free enterprise in the heart of an unstable region," Rubio said in a post on his website over the weekend. "As Iran continues its pursuit of a nuclear weapon, we must continue to apply pressure through every possible means in order to prevent a nuclear Iran. And I look forward to assessing the impact American security assistance is having and discussing the importance of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and how we can maintain it during this time of great uncertainty and tumult in Egypt."
The White House announced earlier this month that President Obama will visit Israel this spring.
"The start of the president's second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern, including Iran and Syria," Tommy Vietor, National Security Council spokesman, said earlier this month.