Photo: Reuters

Jordanian King visits newly annexed border-enclave Baqoura

Jordan’s King Abdullah the Second, paid his first visit to his Kingdom’s border-enclave of Baqoura, one day after his announced decision to end a 25-year arrangement that allowed Israeli farmers access to the territory. While making no public statements, the Hashemite Monarch – alongside his son, Crown Prince Hussein the Second – he was welcomed by a large number of soldiers who chanted “We sacrifice our blood and soul for you Abu Hussein (King Abdullah II).”They also participated in a Muslim prayer on one of the two newly annexed territories.

It is important to mentioned that under the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty the enclave, made up of two territories straddling the border, was recognized as being under Jordanian sovereignty but with special provisions allowing Israeli farmers, who legally own the property, to work the land without visas. But in 2018, Jordan said it did not want to renew the arrangement, in what was widely seen as a sign of increasingly strained bilateral relations. According to the Jordanian Foreign Minister “The two annexes to the treaty clearly stipulated that any country, any party to this agreement has the right to not renew the annexes providing that it notifies the other one a year before, that is what we did in October of 2018. Israel asked, again in accordance with the agreement, to enter into consultations, we did enter into consultations and the final decision has been communicated clearly that we are not going to renew the annexes.”

The Jordanian Foreign Minister further stressed that the decision stemmed from the Kingdom’s interests, which exercised its legal right under the peace agreement. Safadi said “The decision regarding Baqura and Ghamar has been taken, it is a decision that we took in accordance with our interests, and it is a decision that was implemented by exercising our legal right that is embodied in the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel.”