Jordan’s King receives Israeli Defense Minister in Amman

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Jordan JordanJordan’s King Abdullah II on Wednesday received Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and discussed with him the stalled peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

A statement issued by the Jordanian Royal Court said, ‘During the meeting, the king stressed the need to maintain a comprehensive calm in the Palestinian territories and to take all necessary steps for that, in order to find a real horizon for achieving a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution.’

The statement added that the meeting, which was attended by Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, ‘discussed a number of bilateral issues and ways to enhance security and stability in the region.’ On September 5, Israeli President Isaac Herzog revealed that he had secretly met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman, amid the improvement of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

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Herzog said in a television interview with Israeli television: ‘Jordan is a country of great importance , and I have great respect for King Abdullah, who is a great leader and a regional player with great influence’. In July, the two countries agreed that Israel would sell Jordan 50 million cubic meters of water annually, in addition to the 55 million cubic meters it is currently providing free of charge.

Under this agreement, Jordan is allowed to increase its exports to the Palestinians in the West Bank. Jordan and Israel signed in Dubai last November a declaration of intent in a new step that would improve relations between the two countries.

Feasibility studies for the project will begin next year, and the UAE will co-finance the cooperation, while the United States sponsored the signing. The agreement stipulates that Jordan will work to generate electricity from solar energy for Israel, while the Hebrew state will desalinate water for Jordan, which is suffering from drought.

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