Jordan’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 the other hand, an Israeli government statement clarified that Gantz stressed, during his meeting with the Jordanian monarch, “the strategic importance of strong and lasting relations between Israel and Jordan, which contribute to the security and prosperity of the two countries.”
The statement added that the meeting “focused on security and politics issues.” “Secretary Gantz thanked His Majesty the King for his leadership and the kingdom’s decisive role in maintaining regional peace and stability.”
The office of the Israeli Defense Minister said that he met today, Wednesday, with Jordan’s King Abdullah “to discuss stability in the region.”
Gantz welcomed “the expansion of relations between Jordan and the current Israeli government,” expressing his “commitment to continuing to develop security, economic and civil exchanges.”
On the fifth of last September, 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.
In an interview with Israeli television, he said, “Jordan is a very important country, and I have great respect for King Abdullah, who is a great leader and a regional player with great influence.”
Israeli-Jordanian relations deteriorated under the rule of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose critics accused him of neglecting the Jordanian kingdom in favor of normalizing relations last year with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.
But shortly after Naftali Bennett became prime minister in Israel last June, the latter visited Amman and held talks with King Abdullah II.
water and electricity
Last July, the two sides 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 participate in financing 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.