On Wednesday, Jordan’s king met with Israel’s defense minister, both sides said, as part of efforts to reset relations between the two countries.
The two talked about “security and policy topics,” the Benny Gantz office reported. Gantz “welcomed the growing relationship between Jordan and the current Israeli government.”
Both discussed “keeping the calm in Palestinian Territories” as well as the measures necessary to lay the groundwork for a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a statement from King Abdullah II. Both men met in Amman, Jordan’s capital.
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strained relations between Israel and Jordan under his leadership. The meeting marks a new beginning for ties between the countries. Last year, Abdullah met privately with Israel’s current prime minister, Naftali Bennett, and also the foreign ministers of both countries met separately.
Relations between Israel and Jordan were peaceful in 1994, but have soured in recent years due to tensions at a flashpoint mosque in Jerusalem, Israeli settlement expansions in the West Bank, and the lack of progress in the long-stalled peace process. Additionally, the two nations were at odds following the shooting of an Israeli guard at the embassy in Amman.
Both Jordan and Palestine were opposed to the Trump administration’s Mideast plan, under which Israel could have annexed a third of the West Bank. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem and the West Bank to form their future state, territories that Israel captured east Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan during its 1967 invasion.