Jordanian Prince Secretly Meets Israeli President amid Deteriorating Relations

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. (Photo: File)

A Jordanian prince secretly met with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin in London, Israeli media reported on Wednesday, just days after King Abdullah confirmed relations between the two were at “an all-time low.”

Prince Ghazi bin Mohammed, a senior advisor and envoy to Jordan’s King Abdullah was part of a high-level delegation that met Rivlin during a working visit to the British capital.

“A number of issues were discussed” during the meeting, according to an official statement from the president’s office, including a joint tourism project dubbed the Land of Monasteries.

Earlier this month, Jordan’s King Abdullah toured an annex recently reclaimed from Israel – the first time in over a quarter of a century the lands have come under Amman’s control.

Accompanied by his son, Crown Prince Hussein, and other military officials, the king watched as the Jordanian flag was raised above the agricultural land for the first time in at least a quarter of a century.

The decision to reclaim sovereignty over the two enclaves led to celebrations in the kingdom, where over half the population is of Palestinian descent.

In Israel, there has been some unease at Jordan’s decision to reclaim the land, which coincides with marked tensions between the two neighbors, most recently over Netanyahu’s pledge to annex the occupied Jordan Valley.

“There wasn’t a real reconciliation,” Netanyahu said, about relations between Israel and Jordan this week.

Relations suffered further after Jordan recalled its ambassador in Israel over the country’s refusal to free two detained Jordanians, including a woman, who were detained in August. 

Heba al-Labadi, 24, and Abdelrahman Merhi, 28, were arrested at a crossing between Jordan and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Despite this, Netanyahu said he was keen to preserve the 1994 peace deal between Jordan and Israel, despite the latest blip in relations.

Jordan – one of two Arab states to have signed peace treaties with Israel – sharply criticized the US policy shift, with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warning of “dangerous consequences”.

Since the heady days of Israel’s second peace treaty with an Arab state – after Egypt – relations with Amman have been strained.

(Al-Araby Al Jadeed, PC, Social Media)

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