Dempsey Arrives in Jordan for Consultations
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
AMMAN, Jordan, Aug. 14, 2013 Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived here today on the final leg of a Middle East trip that first took him to Israel.
While here, Dempsey is scheduled to meet with King Abdullah II and other leaders. Officials said one major topic of discussion is expected to be the civil uprising in Syria, which has caused an estimated half-million-plus refugees to flee to Jordan to the south.
In July, Dempsey termed the situation in Syria “a human tragedy.” The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 Syrians have died since the civil war began in March 2011. U.N. officials said more than 1.5 million Syrians have fled the country and millions more are internally displaced.
The chairman said earlier this week that the central U.S. military approach to the Syria situation is to build partner capacity, “whether those partners are Turks, through our NATO channels; Lebanese armed forces; Jordanian armed forces; Israelis -- and as well, the Iraqis.”
Dempsey noted the United States and Jordan have a long-standing military relationship, and that Jordan contributes to the Afghanistan mission. During his visit here, he said,
“I want to understand how they see the issues -- both emanating out of Syria, but also emanating out of Egypt -- affecting their plans moving forward.”
Dempsey and Jordanian leaders will also likely discuss potential threats from Iran and uncertainty in the Sinai, according to officials. The chairman will also visit U.S. troops here.
Before arriving here, Dempsey spent two days in Israel, where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, chief of the Israeli general staff.