Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur
Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur AFP photo

The relations between Israel and Jordan are directly related to the relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, according to Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur.

Nsur spoke to the Ma’ariv daily newspaper during the meeting of the World Economic Forum in Jordan this week. In the interview, which was published Friday, he said, "Any improvement or deterioration in the relations between the countries is directly affected by the Palestinian issue and the possibility of a resumption of the talks between the two sides.

"We see the situation around us and the developments that occur before our eyes, and they only strengthen the belief that the peace process is the key to regional stability,” Nsur told the newspaper. “King Abdullah, U.S. envoy John Kerry and other international groups are working hard to promote the issue.

"If progress is made,” he added, “and there will be positive results on issues related to negotiations, Israel will instantly improve its relations with all Middle Eastern countries. I repeat again - the issue of talks between Israel and the Palestinians is the central issue which affects the relationship between Israel and Jordan.”

Nsur referred to the Jordanian parliament recent unanimous demand that the government expel Israeli Ambassador Daniel Nevo over an incident at the Temple Mount.

The demand was made after Israeli police questioned and released Jerusalem's most senior Muslim cleric for suspected involvement in throwing chairs at a group of Jews on the Temple Mount.

Nsur said that while the lower house of the Jordanian parliament’s resolution was a democratic one, it is not the body that makes decisions in Jordan.

"Parliament's decision is a democratic decision, and we treat it that way,” he told Ma’ariv. “The Israeli Knesset, as well, has made harsh statements in the past on many issues, including the relationship between Israel and Jordan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is democracy and this is its price."

At the same time, added Nsur, “The members of the Jordanian parliament have their perspective and their opinions. In contrast, members of the government have their own opinion. Ultimately they are at a higher level of decision making, and have the constitutional legitimacy to make decisions about operational moves, whether to expel an ambassador or recall an ambassador and whether to sever ties between countries or not.”

He called on Israel, however, not to discount the parliament resolution.

"The decision of the Jordanian parliament should be taken seriously,” said Nsur. “We took serious steps after the incidents at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, we summoned the Israeli ambassador and we sent Israel a message that it must act responsibly with regard to the holy places of Islam.

"Jordan made an historic decision and took upon itself the responsibility for Islam's holy places. Israel cannot hurt these holy places and not expect a strong reaction from the Jordanian side."

Despite all this, said Nsur, the relationship between Israel and Jordan remains stable.

"There are mutual relations on a variety of issues, whether economic or political, in order to resume talks with the Palestinians,” he said. “We hope this economic forum will be able to advance the issue to some extent."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)