Jordan's King Pledges Iraq Support
First visit by Arab head of state big boost for Iraqi government
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2008 2:10 AM CDT
Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi welcomes Jordan's King Abdullah in Baghdad.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In a key sign of returning stability in Iraq, King Abdullah of Jordan paid a surprise visit to Baghdad yesterday, becoming the first Arab head of state to travel to the nation since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by the US military. The trip, postponed from last month after a security leak, holds tremendous symbolic significance in the Arab world, reports the BBC. 

Jordan has already announced it will reopen its Iraqi embassy, which was bombed in 2003. "Jordan is ready to stand at the side of Iraq to realize the wish of the Iraqi people for security, stability and prosperity," said the king. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said the visit opens a "new page in relations between the two countries which will help maintain stability in the region."