Jordan Envoy Presents Credentials to Israel

Obeidat presented his credentials to Shimon Peres, the same day Egypt renewed peace with Israel.

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Scott Krane,

Soldiers patrol Jordanian border
Soldiers patrol Jordanian border
Israel news photo: IDF spokesmen

Walid Obeidat, Jordan's newly appointed ambassador to Israel presented his credentials to President Shimon Peres on Wednesday, filling a position that had been vacant since mid-2010.

Jordan named career diplomat Walid Obeidat as ambassador to Israel last month, much to the chagrin and protest of Mr. Obeidat's tribe, the Jordanian Obeidat and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Obeidat told Israel radio:

"Our foremost priority in our foreign policy still remains the peace process and achieving peace between all neighbouring countries, including the
establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state..."

The Islamists said the appointment was "not in the interest of the kingdom," while the tribe insisted that "accepting such a post is a great insult to his own people and nation as well as to Palestinian martyrs." according to the AFP.

The AFP also reported:

“The United States had called on Jordan to appoint a new ambassador, but Amman had been reluctant because of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries to have signed peace treaties with Israel.”

Today, Egypt also renewed peace with Israel. Egypt's Atef Salem presented his credentials to President Shimon Peres, bringing a message of reassurance from the government of President Mohamed Morsi, whose roots are in the Muslim Brotherhood, the AFP reported.

He said:

"I came with a message of peace and I came to confirm that we are really working for mutual trust and transparency and we are committed to all the agreements we signed with Israel," he said. 

Peres responded: "We consider Egypt historically and politically as the leading country of the Arab world. We have the highest respect for your people and for your history. Please convey to President Morsi my very best wishes for his success, for the success of Egypt and for the success of the Middle East."

Previous ambassador Ali al-Ayed became information minister in mid-2010 and has not been replaced until now, despite increasing duress from Washington. Amman was reluctant to act because of what officials said was the Jewish state's policies towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the AFP reported.