Biden Takes First Phone Call With Arab Leader As Trump Implodes

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The world is moving on without outgoing President Donald Trump, whether he accepts the results of the presidential election that he decisively lost or not. Now, President-elect Joe Biden has spoken on the phone with King Abdullah II of Jordan; the conversation was Biden’s first with an Arab leader following his electoral victory, although he of course had plenty of interactions with world leaders while serving as vice president in the Obama administration. King Abdullah II was in power in Jordan for the entirety of the eight years of the Obama administration, having assumed his present role in 1999.

The Jordanian government confirmed that King Abdullah II spoke with Biden. A public statement that Jordanian authorities shared on Twitter says that the king “expresses keenness to continue bolstering the strategic partnership between the two countries to expand cooperation, in service of mutual interests and regional security and stability.” A longer readout of the call that the Jordanian government released says that the king also “reaffirmed the importance” of cooperation in dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Jordan has suffered a total of over 188,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 2,300 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Biden spoke with Abdullah on the same day that the Biden-Harris transition team announced picks for a handful of high-profile national security roles in the incoming Biden-Harris administration. Antony Blinken, who served in the State Department during the Obama era, is the president-elect’s pick for Secretary of State, while Alejandro Mayorkas, who served in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the Obama era, is Biden’s pick to lead DHS. The Biden team also announced that John Kerry, a former U.S. Senator who was Secretary of State during the latter years of the Obama administration, would serve as a special presidential envoy for climate. Kerry’s position will be a part of the National Security Council.

King Abdullah II of Jordan is one of a sizable number of world leaders who have openly acknowledged Biden’s win and gotten on board with preparing for the transfer of power in the United States. Other world leaders who’ve spoken with Biden include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.