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Updated: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 06:26:08 GMT | By The Canadian Press, cbc.ca

Stephen Harper to meet King Abdullah in Jordan



Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday. While in the Middle East, Harper is visiting Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday. While in the Middle East, Harper is visiting Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Prime Minister Stephen Harper began his first-ever visit to Jordan with a roundtable discussion involving a variety of officials and business leaders from the Muslim kingdom.

Harper, who was accompanied by International Trade Minister Ed Fast, made brief remarks in Amman during the discussion about the importance of the Canadian-Jordanian relationship.

Others at the roundtable included Nayef Stetieh, the president of the Jordanian-Canadian Business Association, and Royal Jordanian Airlines chairman H.E. Nasser Lozi.

Harper is also scheduled to meet today with the country's prime minister, as well as King Abdullah.

He will also visit the Za'atri refugee camp, which is home to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war in their country.

Syria is expected to be a key topic of discussion in Harper's meetings.

Harper's two days in the Muslim kingdom follow a triumphant visit to Israel during which he was treated like royalty by Israeli officials and citizens alike.

Jordan and Israel have had official diplomatic relations since they signed a peace treaty in 1994. King Abdullah views Israel as a vital regional ally in the Middle East.

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