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Netanyahu in Surprise Visit to Jordan

Prime Minister heads to Jordan for surprise talks over Israel-PA negotiations.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 1/16/2014, 2:50 PM

King Abdullah II
King Abdullah II
AFP/File

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traveled to Jordan on Thursday to meet with King Abdullah II in Amman.

Netanyahu’s trip was kept under wraps until the last minute. His last reported meeting with Abdullah was in March 2013.

The two leaders discussed the ongoing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The content of their meeting, like the contents of the negotiations themselves, was kept secret.

Politicians’ recent statements regarding the ongoing talks have indicated that the Jordan Valley is currently a key issue. The PA insists on full control of the Jordan Valley – along with all other land that was under Jordanian control from 1948 to 1967 – while Israeli experts have warned that the area is strategically critical.

King Abdullah’s reign has been characterized by a cooling of relations with Israel. In 2010, he said Jordan’s relationship with Israel had hit “an all-bottom low,” and argued that Jordan was better off before making peace with Israel.

However, cooperation between Abdullah and Netanyahu appears to have improved slightly in recent years. The two leaders have met to discuss Syria’s chemical weapons and the Israel-PA talks. In an interview last March, Abdullah described their working relationship as “very strong.”