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Dempsey Visits Jordan to Reaffirm Partnership

By xxxJohn D. Banusiewicz , American Forces Press Service

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AMMAN, Jordan (April 21, 2012) — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived here today to visit his Jordanian counterpart and to meet with officials at the U.S. Embassy.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey kicked off his first visit to Jordan as chairman with private meetings with U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Stuart E. Jones and members of the embassy’s staff, followed by a Jordanian-hosted dinner. Tomorrow, he’ll meet with Jordan’s chief of defense, Lt. Gen. Mashal al-Zaben.

The chairman took time after his embassy meetings to mix and mingle informally with service members stationed here.
“This is a counterpart visit and a chance to thank the Jordanians for their critical support in Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as to discuss regional security issues,” said Marine Corps Col. David Lapan, Dempsey’s spokesman. “We remain firmly committed to our partnership with Jordan’s armed forces and greatly appreciate their contributions in support of coalition operations.”

Jordan is one of the most vital U.S. allies in the region, Lapan said. “We are fully committed to our partnership during this time of dynamic change,” he added.

The world is closely watching developments in Syria, Lapan said, and the United States shares Jordanian concerns regarding the deteriorating situation there.

“The Jordanian military continues to display exceptional leadership throughout the region,” Lapan said. For example, he said, the United States and Jordan will conduct Exercise Eager Lion 12 from May 7 to May 28.

The exercise will bring together more than 8,000 participants from more than 15 countries over five continents. Its focus is to strengthen military-to-military relationships of participating partner nations through a joint, whole-of-government, multinational approach, the chairman’s spokesman said.