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Israel - Farewell Ceremony For Obama Is Cancelled Due To Sand Storm

Published on: March 22, 2013 08:49 AM
By: Jerusalem Post
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One of U.S. President Barack Obama's limousines is pictured alongside a member of Israeli security outside his hotel in Jerusalem March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jason ReedOne of U.S. President Barack Obama’s limousines is pictured alongside a member of Israeli security outside his hotel in Jerusalem March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Israel- US President Barack Obama’s official farewell ceremony from Israel’s Ben Gurion airport was cancelled due to a sand storm that has enveloped central Israel on Friday morning.

Instead, a small ceremony was scheduled to take place on the tarmac.

Additionally, due to strong winds and sand storms on Friday, President Obama changed his plans to fly to Bethlehem in a helicopter, opting instead to travel in a convoy of cars. Highway 1 between Jerusalem was due to be blocked between the hours of 13:30 and 16:00.


The US president will then travel to Amman, where he will meet with Jordanian King Abdullah II. Obama’s talks with Abdullah are expected to focus on the civil war in neighboring Syria and the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace diplomacy.

The president’s visit to the desert kingdom is aimed at reassuring Abdullah of Washington’s support at a time when it is flooded with refugees from the violence in Syria, and battling economic difficulties and tensions from the “Arab Spring” upheaval in the region, aides say.

Obama and Abdullah will consult extensively on the spillover of the Syrian conflict to Jordan, where an influx of more than 350,000 refugees has further strained the resources of a country that has almost no oil. Washington has provided some aid to alleviate the humanitarian situation.

Obama backs the Syrian opposition’s effort to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, but has limited its support to non-lethal aid to anti-government rebels despite growing calls from European and Arab allies to take a stronger tack.

The king has taken a mostly cautious line on Syria, calling for Assad to go, but advocating a “political solution” and not arming the Syrian leader’s foes. Jordanian authorities worry that any emergence of Islamist rule in a post-Assad Syria could embolden Islamists who are the main opposition group in Jordan.

Also on the agenda will be the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

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