The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al—Ahmad al—Sabah, arrived in Amman on Monday for a two—day state visit, the first by a Kuwaiti head of state to Jordan in more than 20 years.

He was given a red carpet welcome at the airport featuring King Abdullah II and senior government officials.

Al—Sabah’s talks with King Abdullah are expected to focus on the US—brokered indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians and the need to put pressure on the Jewish state to accept a two—state solution, officials said.

High on the agenda will also be a Jordanian push to convince the oil—rich emirate to resume its economic aid to the Hashemite Kingdom, so it can overcome a budget deficit that will reach an estimated 2 billion dollars in fiscal 2010, diplomats said.

Kuwait halted its economic aid to Jordan in August 1990, accusing Jordan of supporting former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s occupation of the emirate.

At the time, Amman preferred a pan—Arab solution to the issue.

Jordan also stringently opposed the US—led military coalition that liberated Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in February 1991.

Ties between the two pro—US countries remained strained for several years, but have gradually normalized over the past decade.

Keywords: Diplomatic visit

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