Netanyahu meeting King Abdullah, discuss regional developments

Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Jordan’s King Abdullah, during which the two leaders discussed the prospects of advancing a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as promoting bilateral economic relations, among other matters. The meeting between Netanyahu and King Abdullah, which was their first meeting in four years, also discussed regional developments vis a vis Syria and Iran. The office of the King of Jordan said following the meeting that it had been agreed to examine a number of economic issues, including an agreement to consider lifting obstacles to Jordanian exports to the West Bank. The Israeli Prime Minister’s bureau also released a statement following the meeting, in which it underscored Netanyahu’s commitment to the Jordanian King, to maintain the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem.

The meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and King Abdullah came just three days after Jordan reportedly decided not to name a new envoy to the Islamic Republic of Iran, after recalling the Kingdom’s Ambassador Abdullah Abu Rumman from Tehran. The Jordanian decision was made at the backdrop of warming relations between the Hashemite Kingdom and its southern-neighbor, Saudi Arabia, which is embroiled in a violent-regional-rivalry with the Islamic Republic of Iran. In an official statement made last month by Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, the Jordanian top diplomat condemned any threats directed toward Saudi Arabia, which he defined as threats against Jordan, as well. The growing Jordanian support toward its southern neighbor has been reciprocated, as Saudi King Salman called for an aid meeting last week to look into ways to help Jordan deal with the economic crisis in the kingdom, which had led to riots following an attempt to raise taxes. During the meeting, which was held on Sunday, it was decided that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait would offer Jordan financial aid, amounting to 2.5 billion dollars.