King Abdullah II hosted Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz in Amman for talks on regional stability and bilateral ties, in what was the latest high-level visit since the recent improvement in relations between the two neighbors, said officials from both countries.
By Erin Viner
“Our meeting reflected the enduring ties and excellent cooperation between our countries. We are committed to working together for the security and prosperity of our nations,” Gantz said in a Tweet following the meeting at the royal palace.
Jerusalem and the Hashemite Kingdom signed a peace treaty in 1994, but ties have been strained in recent years largely over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Relations were particularly tense during the conservative administration of former premier Benjamin Netanyahu, but have elevated since last year’s inauguration of the a cross-partisan coalition led by current Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
According to a statement TV7 obtained from the Israeli Ministery of Defense, Gantz “highlighted the strategic importance of strong and enduring relations between Israel and Jordan.”
Minister Gantz also “thanked His Majesty for his leadership and for the Kingdom’s critical role in maintaining regional peace and stability,” and “welcomed the expansion of relations between Jordan and the current Israeli government, and expressed his commitment to further developing security, economic and civilian exchanges,” said the statement.
A communique released by the Jordanian royal palace said that King Abdullah told the visiting-Israeli Defense Minister that it is crucial to maintain calm in Palestinian territories, and stressed there is no alternative to a Two-State Solution to bring a “comprehensive and just” end to the conflict.
Jordanian officials say that a return by the United States to the commitment of the Two State Solution by President Joe Biden has relieved pressure on the Hashemite Kingdom – where this is a majority of Palestinian residents amid the the population of 10 million.
Israel has increased water supplies to Jordan in recent months. There has also been revived discussion about joint regional projects, and an upward trajectory in cross-border trade that had stagnated for years.
Minister Gantz led the Israeli delegation, that included his Chief of Staff Maayan Israeli, Policy and Political-Military Bureau Director Zohar Palti and Military Secretary Yaki Dolf.
King Abdullah was accompanied by Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Political Affairs Directorate Chief Moath Al Zu’bi and His Majesty’s Office Director Dr. Jafar Hassan.