Obama Meets With Jordan King

Abdullah II shares youth—both are 46—with Democratic candidate
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2008 12:07 PM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., right, shakes hands with King Abdullah of Jordan, Tuesday, July 22, 2008, in Amman, Jordan.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Barack Obama sat down tonight for a meeting and dinner with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, a leader much like the Democratic candidate (both are 46) in being seen as crossing age and societal gaps, USA Today reports. Abdullah’s Jordan is the most Western-friendly of Arab countries, but is in perhaps the tightest geographical spot—sandwiched between Israel, Palestine, and Iraq.

“If Jordan were a TV program, it would be called American Idol,” one expert tells the newspaper. Abdullah, educated in the UK, has fought to modernize his country even as he pursues peace. But he’s also deeply concerned with Iranian power, insiders say, and is certainly anxious to see how serious Obama is about frustrating Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.