Israeli President and King of Jordan hold secret talks | Politics News
The meeting between Isaac Herzog and King Abdullah II in Amman is a sign of an improvement in relations between the two states.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog revealed that he met Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman, an unannounced meeting held against the backdrop of improving diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“Last week I met and had a very long conversation with the King of Jordan, I was in his palace, a whole evening. It was a great meeting, ”Herzog said in excerpts from an interview broadcast on Israeli television on Saturday.
The full interview will air on Sunday, the eve of the Jewish New Year which begins Monday evening.
“Jordan is a very important country. I have immense respect for King Abdullah, a great leader and a very important regional actor, ”Herzog said in a statement released by his office.
The meeting took place at King Abdullah’s palace, with the two leaders discussing a range of political and economic issues, including energy and sustainability, the statement said.
He referred to a “warm meeting, held at the invitation of the king”, during which the two men raised “deep strategic questions”.
“Among the topics we discussed were the central issues of the dialogue between our states, including an agreement to import agricultural products during the shemitah year (agricultural sabbatical year), energy issues, sustainability and solutions. to the climate crisis that we can move forward together, ”the statement read.
Repairing strained relationships
Jordan and Egypt are the only two countries bordering Israel to have signed peace treaties with it.
Israeli-Jordanian relations have deteriorated under the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, which critics have accused of neglecting the Hashemite kingdom in favor of agreeing to normalize relations last year with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and the Morocco.
Diplomatic relations have also been strained due to tensions within the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israel’s expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
However, shortly after taking office in June, new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to Amman for talks with King Abdullah. In the week that followed, Jordan and Israel signed two groundbreaking water and trade agreements.
The two countries agreed that Israel would sell 50 million cubic meters of water per year to Jordan, in addition to the 55 million cubic meters it already provides for free.
Under the deal, Jordan is allowed to increase its exports to Palestinians in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967.
Earlier this week, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the first high-level meeting between the two sides in years.
Gantz said the Israeli government is interested in strengthening Abbas in his rivalry against the ruling Hamas group in Gaza, including plans to lend $ 150 million to the cash-strapped self-government government in the West Bank.