US President Joe Biden has exchanged views with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on containing violence and reducing tensions in Israel and the West Bank. The two spoke about recent events in the region during a visit by the Jordanian king to the White House on Friday, government headquarters in Washington said.

Jordan is a “key ally and a driving force for stability in the Middle East,” the White House said. Biden pointed out the need to preserve the historical status quo on the Temple Mount (Al-Haram Al-Sharif). The US President also paid tribute to Jordan’s role as guardian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

A wave of terror in Israel has killed 19 people since the end of March, and an Israeli security guard was shot dead by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is particularly tense following the killing of a reporter from the Al Jazeera TV channel during an Israeli military operation in Jenin on Wednesday.