Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi met for the third time on Tuesday for talks on the Palestinian issue and the two-state solution.
Israeli news site Walla reported that the meeting took place at the Allenby Bridge on the border between the two countries and lasted for several hours.
Jordan’s foreign ministry indicated that Safadi told Ashkenazi that Israel should reenter talks with the Palestinians on the basis of the two-state solution, which should be based on the 1967 lines with eastern Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
“There is no alternative to the two-state solution,” Safadi reportedly told Ashkenazi, and added that peace agreements with other Arab states such as the Abraham Accords cannot be a substitute for a bilateral peace with the Palestinians.
In addition, the two men discussed the regional situation and relations with the new US presidential administration, as well as strengthening ties between Israel and Jordan on trade and water issues.
Ashkenazi has made relations with Jordan a priority, after they turned frosty last year when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began speaking about possibly annexing large parts of the West Bank, which Jordan vehemently opposes.
With the end of the annexation initiative, which was dropped during negotiations over the Abraham Accords, Israeli-Jordanian relations have somewhat thawed.
In addition to his meeting with Safadi, Ashkenazi also spoke by phone on Monday with the foreign minister of Oman, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood AlBusaidi, with whom he discussed Israel-Arab relations, the upcoming Palestinian Authority elections, and the threat from Iran.
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Author: Benjamin Kerstein
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