Netanyahu, Abdallah Rare Meeting in Amman

Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter. Ecclesiastes 10:20 (The Israel Bible™)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II of Jordan met Monday in the Jordanian capital, Amman, for talks on regional developments and bilateral ties.

In a brief statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said Israel was committed to the status quo in the holy places in Jerusalem where the Hashemite Kingdom is custodian of the Muslim shrines.

Jordan’s Petra News Agency said King Hussein had stressed the need for progress on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative, leading to a Palestinian state on the June , 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.

According to the report, a number of bilateral issues were discussed including the Red Sea-Dead Sea water conveyance project and the lifting of restrictions on trade exports with the West Bank.

Ties with Jordan have been strained recently on a number of issues including tensions in Jerusalem, progress on the Red-Dead project and the death last year of two Jordanians killed by an Israeli security guard after one of them attacked him.

Israel’s embassy in Jordan was shuttered from July 2017 until April this year, when Amir Weissbrod arrived in Amman to end a nine-month period during which Israel had no diplomatic representation in the kingdom. The embassy was closed after a Jordanian man attacked embassy guard Ziv Moyal with a screwdriver while delivering furniture to his apartment. In response, Moyal shot and killed the attacker and the apartment’s landlord, setting off a diplomatic firestorm and a hail of criticism inside the Kingdom, where the 1994 peace treaty with Israel is deeply unpopular.

The talks also came amid rising political and economic tensions in Jordan, which witnessed well-attended anti-government protests in response to IMF-backed price increases and a new tax reform law. One of the law’s proposed stipulations is an increase in the number of people who would be taxed – from 4.5% to 10%.

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