Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appears to be like on as he speaks throughout his Yamina occasion faction assembly on the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem July 5, 2021. Image taken July 5, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
July 9, 2021
By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel will this 12 months double its provide of water to Jordan and encourage Amman to export extra to the Palestinians, Israeli officers mentioned on Thursday after a supply instructed Reuters the brand new Israeli prime minister had secretly met the Jordanian king.
Jordan is a key safety accomplice for Israel however relations have suffered in recent times over Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
Yair Lapid, overseas minister in a cross-partisan coalition that ousted long-serving conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s authorities a month in the past, held a primary assembly with Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi on Thursday.
Individually, a supply who declined to be recognized by identify or nationality mentioned Netanyahu’s successor, Naftali Bennett, made an unannounced Amman go to final week to see King Abdullah.
Israeli and Jordanian spokespeople had no fast touch upon what the supply described as June 29 talks at Abdullah’s palace, meant to enhance ties strained throughout Netanyahu’s time period.
A July 1 palace assertion mentioned Abdullah had launched into a three-week go to to the US that would come with President Joe Biden’s first assembly with an Arab chief on the White Home since taking workplace.
Biden will host Abdullah there on July 19, the White Home mentioned on Wednesday, including that these talks could be “a chance to … showcase Jordan’s management position in selling peace and stability within the area”.
Lapid mentioned Israel would promote its neighbour 50 million cubic metres of water this 12 months.
An Israeli official mentioned that may successfully double the availability for the 12 months – from Might 2021 to Might 2022 – as round 50 million cubic metres was already being bought or given to Jordan. A Jordanian official mentioned Israel provides the dominion 30 million cubic metres yearly beneath their 1994 peace treaty.
Lapid mentioned the international locations additionally agreed to discover growing Jordan’s exports to the West Financial institution to $700 million a 12 months, from $160 million now.
“The Kingdom of Jordan is a crucial neighbour and accomplice,” Lapid mentioned in a press release. “We’ll broaden financial cooperation for the great of the 2 international locations.”
The US welcomed the agreements. “It’s these sorts of tangible steps that improve prosperity for all and advance regional stability,” State Division spokesperson Ned Value mentioned in a press release.
Abdullah strongly opposed former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Center East peace plan, which he noticed as a nationwide safety risk that may additionally undermine his Hashemite household’s custodianship of holy websites in Jerusalem.
Officers say the shift in U.S. coverage beneath Biden in the direction of a extra conventional dedication to a two-state resolution to the Arab-Israeli battle has relieved stress on Jordan, the place a majority of the inhabitants of 10 million are Palestinians.
(Writing by Dan Williams and Suleiman al-Khalidi; Modifying by Giles Elgood)