King Abdullah of Jordan’s surprise meeting with Netanyahu

On Tuesday, King Abdullah of Jordan met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Amman, according to a statement issued by the Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan. This meeting occurred during a time of escalating diplomatic discord concerning the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem which is under Israeli occupation.

An Israeli delegation was present at Tuesday’s meeting, which had been called by Amman, and the Jordanian officials included Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. This came after the Israeli police prevented Jordan’s envoy Ghassan Majali from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque on the 17th of January.

After the controversial entrance of Itamar Ben-Gvir, an extreme right-wing Israeli Minister for National Security, into the mosque compound – the third holiest site of Islam – the Jordanian ambassador paid a visit to the site. This drew widespread criticism from the Muslim world, with the Palestinians labelling it an “unprecedented provocation”.

The Jerusalem Waqf, managed by Jordan, has full control of all holy places in Jerusalem, such as the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

King Abdullah highlighted the significance of recognizing the traditional and lawful circumstances surrounding Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.

Multiple attempts made by right-wing Jewish groups to gain access to the esplanade in Jerusalem’s Old City have posed a threat to the current state of affairs there. Several of these attempts have been successful.

Despite the restriction on Jews praying at the Al-Aqsa compound, some Israeli extremists have been advocating for an amendment to the existing religious practice to allow them to offer prayers there.

King Abdullah voiced his desire for a political horizon that can open the door for a peaceful resolution, further urging for avoiding any actions that could disrupt the peace process. He insisted that tranquillity should be maintained, and any violent acts must be stopped.

The monarch expressed his backing for the two-state solution, which would ensure the formation of a separate Palestinian nation within the borders as of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, residing amicably with Israel in peacefulness and safety.

In 1967 Six Day War, Israel gained control of East Jerusalem and subsequently annexed it, though the majority of the global community has not acknowledged this action.

The communique noted that conversations touched on the relations between the two countries and the importance of the Palestinian people gaining access to economic and regional schemes. This is the initial instance of Netanyahu visiting Jordan and his first encounter with King Abdullah II since June 2018.

Since he regained his position as prime minister in December, this is Netanyahu’s first overseas journey.

Netanyahu’s office declared that the two leaders discussed matters related to the region, especially the collaboration between Israel and Jordan in terms of security, economic, and strategic matters, which helps to maintain stability.

King Abdullah of Jordan has been vocal in its voicing its concerns of the new Israeli government.



Image Credit: AFP