The Jan. 5 assembly between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Jordanian King Abdullah was not their first assembly. They have recognized one another for a few years and had met in Jordan as not too long ago as final July. Other Israeli leaders have additionally met with the king in current months, together with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
Still, this was the primary time in seven years that the palace in Amman printed an image of the king assembly with an Israeli official. The final time was in 2014, when the king met with then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the backdrop of Israeli-Palestinian talks that have been mediated by then-US Secretary of State John Kerry. The Jan. 5 assembly was a part of continues efforts by Bennett, Gantz and Lapid to revamp ties between Israel and Jordan, after bitter relations throughout the Netanyahu period.
A press release launched by the workplace of Gantz shortly after the assembly mentioned the 2 males mentioned “the strategic importance of strong and enduring relations between Israel and Jordan, which contribute to the security and prosperity of both nations.” Gantz and Abdullah, it was famous, talked about a variety of safety and diplomatic points. The assertion continued, “Gantz thanked His Majesty for his management and for the Kingdom’s vital position in sustaining regional peace and stability. … Gantz additionally praised the improved ties between the 2 nations since Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s authorities got here to energy, and expressed his dedication to persevering with to strengthen Israel and Jordan’s safety, financial and civil ties.”
Other reports said Abdullah told Gantz he appreciated the Dec. 28 meeting between the minister and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and considers it an important step in stabilizing the region. As a reminder, the two leaders — Gantz and Abbas — met at the home of Gantz in Rosh Ha’ayin, in a rare encounter on Israeli soil. And while the Gantz-Abbas meeting was reportedly not the trigger for the Jan. 5 meeting in Amman, it certainly facilitated it and encouraged the Jordanians to go public about it, including the picture.
Israeli reports said Jan. 5 that the Palestinian issue and maintaining calm in the West Bank were just one of several diplomatic and security issues discussed at the meeting, which lasted for an hour and a half. Another issue, for instance, was Syria, and the Israeli-Jordanian common interest in avoiding escalation in the region. Reportedly, the Defense Ministry’s policy and political-military bureau director, Zohar Palti, told the Jordanians that the Biden administration had promised Jerusalem it will not withdraw its troops from Syria and from Iraq in the near future.
Security cooperation is an important element in bilateral relations and rapprochement between Israel and Jordan, but not the only one. Shortly after taking office, Bennett promised the king that Israel would double the quantity of water it supplies to the Hashemite Kingdom. Then, last November, with the mediation of the United Arab Emirates and US Climate Change Envoy Kerry, the two countries signed an settlement that ought to assist them each to face local weather change challenges. The cooperation settlement will see the development of a photo voltaic plant within the Jordanian desert, producing clear energy for Israel, in change for a desalination plant in Israel that can present Jordan with water.