President Herzog makes historic visit to Jordan

March 31, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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President Isaac Herzog embarked on Wednesday on a historic presidential visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at the invitation of King Abdullah II, as tensions in Israel are running high following three deadly terror attacks in the country in the past week.

President Isaac Herzog (L) and King Abdullah II. (Haim Zach/GPO)

When Herzog entered office, King Abdullah called him to congratulate him on his election, and since then the two leaders have conversed a number of times. Herzog met secretly with King Abdullah at his palace in September.

Herzog and King Abdullah held a private meeting, followed by a bilateral meeting with the participation of both leaders’ advisors.

The two leaders discussed several issues, including deepening Israeli-Jordanian relations, “maintaining regional stability” with an emphasis on the upcoming Muslim month of Ramadan, and strengthening peace and normalization in the region.

At the beginning of their meeting, the King of Jordan condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Israel that claimed the lives of 11 victims.

Herzog stated that Israel has “suffered from heinous terrorist attacks in the last 10 days. 11 The lives of innocent people have been cut short by horrific attacks by vile terrorists. We must fight together against all forms of terrorism and cooperate for the security of our countries. This is a sad day in Israel. Citizens are brought to rest. I thank you for your condemnation as of many countries and leaders, including in our region, who have condemned this heinous attack.”

Israel and Jordan “share common values ​​of prosperity and peace, based on the peace agreement between us,” Herzog said. “Now we must move forward together, and we offer an alternative. Compared to yesterday’s horrible sights, we offer a different alternative of dialogue between people, of respect, of showing to the region that there can be another way.”

“I always say that the fact that Muslim leaders meet with Jewish and Israeli leaders is an alternative to the abyss of hatred and bloodshed. That is why we are moving forward with the partnerships and dialogue between us, towards peace and prosperity for the benefit of all the peoples of the region, including our nations and including our Palestinian neighbors,” he added.

Herzog made his visit to Amman a day after Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with King Abdullah II at the Royal Palace in Amman, ahead of Ramadan and as security tensions in Israel are high.

The meeting “focused on regional and security challenges,” Gantz’s office stated.

This meeting comes about a week after Israeli Minister of Public Security Omer Barlev met secretly in Jordan with Foreign Minister Ayman a-Safdi with attention turned to the fears of security escalation in the month of Ramadan, the latest in a series of summits between senior Israeli and Jordanian officials.

Jordan controls the Temple Mount to a certain extent and can exert pressure on the Palestinian Authority if needed.

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