Netanyahu's Id al-Fitr phone diplomacy

By
August 19, 2012 21:36

PM calls Abbas, Abdullah as Ramadan ends, tells Jordanian king: Hashemite Kingdom-Israel relations important for regional stability.

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King Abdullah of Jordan

King Abdullah of Jordan 311. (photo credit:REUTERS)

A day after phoning Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to wish him well on the festival marking the end of Ramadan, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu picked up the phone Sunday and called Jordan’s King Abdullah II with the same holiday wishes.

Phone calls between Netanyahu and Abbas or Abdullah are not a common occurrence.

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The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying that Netanyahu told Abdullah “the relations between the Hashemite Kingdom and Israel were important for regional stability.”

No further details of that conversation were made public.

It is unlikely that Netanyahu will phone new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy with an Id al-Fitr greeting, one official said, because they have no relationship.

Even if the prime minister would place such a call, it is highly unlikely it would be made public.

Last month, after President Shimon Peres sent a holiday greeting to Morsy on the eve of Ramadan, the Egyptian president sent a brief note back to Peres, marking his first formal contact with Israeli leaders.

However, when the existence of that note was made public in Egypt, a spokesman for Morsy quickly – and to the incredulity of Peres’s office – denied the note was ever sent.

Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz, meanwhile, called Abbas on Sunday with his own holiday greeting.

“In these days of regional change and uncertainty, it is our duty to create hope for both our peoples,” Mofaz told Abbas. “The fact that the peace process is at an impasse serves the extremists on both sides and not the desires of the Palestinian and Israeli majority.”

Mofaz said that it was time to “move forward” and solve the differences between the two sides. The Kadima leader and Abbas agreed to set up a faceto- face meeting in the near future. Abbas canceled a meeting with Mofaz in June when the Kadima head served briefly in Netanyahu’s government as vice premier.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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