Israel's Gantz held secret meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah: report

Israel's Gantz held secret meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah: report
Relations between Israel and Jordan have been strained over the past year.
2 min read
28 February, 2021
Jordan and Israel signed a peace agreement in 1994 [Getty]
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz recently held a secret meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah, according to an Israeli media report.

The in-person meeting took place in the Jordanian capital Amman during December last year, according to Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

The neighbouring countries signed a peace deal nearly three decades ago but relations have been strained over Israeli plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

Gantz, who also serves as Israel's alternate prime minister, hinted at the meeting with the Jordanian monarch on Friday.

"I have a continuous and ongoing connection with the Jordanian king and other senior Jordanian officials, and I know we can have great achievements," he said during a Zoom meeting with activists from his Blue and White party.

"I think Jordan is a great asset to Israel, and I think that our relationship with Jordan could be 1,000 times better. Unfortunately, Netanyahu is an unwanted figure in Jordan," Gantz said, referring to the longtime Israeli premier.

Israel and Jordan could collaborate on "one or two civilian projects" a year and "within 10 years up to 20 or 30 projects", the defence minister added.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi has also met with his Jordanian counterpart twice in recent months.

In a conference organised by the Brookings Insitution last week, King Abdullah reitirated his support for a two-state solution. 

"Occupation and peace simply cannot coexist," the Jordanian monarch said.

"The Palestinian people have a right to an independent, viable and sovereign state on the June 4, 1967, lines – to live alongside Israel in peace and security."

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