Netanyahu and King Abdullah met to discuss the latest developments in the region ahead of the possible launching of Trump’s peace plan.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II of Jordan met on Tuesday in Amman in the first publicized meeting between the two leaders since 2014.
According to a statement by Netanyahu’s office, they discussed “regional developments, advancing the peace process and bilateral relations.”
The meeting took place just days before White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and US chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt are scheduled to arrive in the region to promote a peace plan formulated by the Trump administration.
According to Jordan’s Petra News Agency, Abdullah “stressed the need to make progress in efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution and in accordance with international law, relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
Netanyahu “reiterated Israel’s commitment to maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem.” Jordan is considered the custodian of the Temple Mount.
Petra News reported that on the subject of Jerusalem’s status, Abdullah reiterated that the issue “must be settled as part of final status issues on the basis of the two-state solution, underlining the importance of the Holy City for Muslims and Christians, as it is for Jews, and reiterating that the Holy City is key to achieving peace in the region.”
They also discussed a number of “bilateral issues, including the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project.”
Israel-Jordan Rollercoaster Relations
Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994, which resolved the territorial disputes between the countries and included water-sharing agreements. They signed a trade treaty in 1996, and economic ties since then have developed.
In 2014, Israel and Jordan signed a $500 million natural gas deal effective for 15 years.
Israel’s security and intelligence ties with Jordan are more discreet but have likewise strengthened and developed, especially since the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 and the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS).
Relations have also hit some rocky spots in recent years, however, especially over Jewish access to the Temple Mount compound. Jordan has repeatedly demanded that Israel prevent religious Jews from entering the site, which is holy to Jews and Muslims, and has even recalled its ambassador over the issue in the past.
In a recent sign of warming ties, Jordan accepted a new Israeli ambassador, Amir Weissbrod, who took up his post last month.