Jordan king, US army chief hold Mideast talks

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Wednesday held talks with US army chief General Martin Dempsey on developments in the Middle East and boosting ties, the palace said.

"The king and Dempsey discussed regional issues and the means to boost military cooperation," it said in a brief statement.

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Dempsey was in Jordan as part of a regional tour that has already taken him to Israel.

His office has said he planned to visit US troops in Jordan and draw up a clearer picture of how the conflict in neighbouring Syria was affecting the kingdom and the region.

Fearing the Syrian conflict could spill over into Jordan, the United States has deployed F-16 fighters and Patriot missile defences, along with about 1,000 US troops, to protect its close Arab ally.

Jordan is home to more than 500,000 Syrian refugees.