Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday met with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Amman, in a rare meeting since 2014, on regional issues, especially the peace process following months of strained relations.
“The king and the prime minister discussed regional developments and advancing the peace process and bilateral relations,” Israeli prime minister’s office statement read.
The statement asserted “Israel’s commitment to maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem,” as Jordan is the official custodian of major Muslim holy sites in the holy city.
The surprising visit came after months of strained relations over the killing of two Jordanians by an Israeli Embassy guard in 2017.
The meeting further came ahead of the US President Donald Trump special envoy’s visit to the Middle East, Jared Kushner and US peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, who are expected visit to the region to pass a plan for an Israeli-Palestinian deal on dividing the Palestine territories including Jerusalem, the city Palestinians consider the capital of their independent state.
For his part, King Abdullah stressed, according to Jordan News Agency (PETRA), “the need to make progress in efforts to resolve the Palestine-Israel conflict on basis of the two-state solution and in accordance with International Law, relevant UN resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
King Abdullah reiterated that “the subject of Jerusalem must be settled as part of final statues issues on the basis of two-state solution,” underlining “the importance of the holy city for Muslims and Christians, as it for Jews,” the statement read.
Last month, US president Donald Trump relocated his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after he recognized the holy city as the capital of Israel, reversing long time US policy. The controversial gesture sparked angry mass demonstrations in Gaza, leading to the killing of more than 60 Palestinians and injuring more than 2000.
On March this year, Trump’s administration added the finishing touches to the peace plan, despite the risk that the Palestinians will reject it, as they fear they will get a little more than a symbolic foothold in Jerusalem. However, the details of the long-awaited deal has not been revealed yet.