Lapid holds first meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah

The leaders discussed ways to improve relations between the countries and put more meaning behind their peace agreement.

 Prime Minister Yair Lapid meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan, July 27, 2022 (photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan, July 27, 2022
(photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid met with Jordanian King Abdullah in Amman on Wednesday, for the first time since becoming premier last month.

The leaders discussed ways to improve relations between the countries and put more meaning behind their peace agreement.

Among other things they discussed US President Joe Biden’s recent visit to the region and the opportunities it brought relating to a “regional architecture,” a euphemism Lapid’s office has used for increased cooperation between Israel and Arab states in recent months, with an emphasis on defense.

Abdullah told Lapid that he “reaffirms the need to create a political horizon to achieve just, comprehensive, lasting peace on the basis of [a] two-state solution and bolster regional security, stability, and development, which must include Palestinians,” the Royal Hashemite Court tweeted, along with a photo of the meeting.

Planned Israel-Jordan cooperation

The leaders also discussed a planned bilateral energy and water project, by which a solar field in Jordan would provide clean energy to Israel and Israel would build a desalination plant for Jordan, along with a shared industrial park. Jerusalem put the projects, facilitated by the US and UAE, on hold in April, after Jordan’s prime minister praised Palestinians who assaulted Israelis.

  Prime Minister Yair Lapid meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan, July 27, 2022 (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO) Prime Minister Yair Lapid meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan, July 27, 2022 (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

Abdullah said the Palestinians must be included in US-backed economic initiatives in the region, Reuters reported.

Other topics on the agenda were joint tourism initiatives in Eilat and Akaba, food security and agriculture. The two leaders instructed their staff to prepare for projects on those fronts.

Lapid previously spoke to Abdullah in early July, ahead of Biden’s visit, wishing the king and the people of Jordan a happy Eid al-Adha.

President Isaac Herzog visited Jordan twice earlier this year, with his trip to Amman being the first fully public visit from the start instead of being publicized only after the fact, like Lapid’s on Wednesday. Herzog met with Abdullah again in June.