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Israel's political turmoil leaves economic peace with Jordan on hold

A stable Jordan may be a top Israeli national interest, but important joint economic projects between the two countries have been mired in bureaucratic red tape for a while.
The national flags of Jordan and Israel are seen from the Israeli side of the border area between Israel and Jordan, in Naharayim October 29, 2019. Picture taken October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RC2C8D9T9AHO
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There were no celebrations or even ceremonies to mark the 25th anniversary of Israel’s peace agreement with Jordan. If anything, mentions of it tended to be negative. According to a report by Ksenia Svetlova for Al-Monitor, King Abdullah refuses to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Jordan rejected Israel’s request to extend the period during which Israeli farmers can continue to work their fields in the Tzohar and Naharayim enclaves now that the Israeli lease has expired. Instead, Jordan offered financial restitution for any crops left in the fields.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi met about this issue with Israel’s national security adviser, Meir Ben Shabbat. Though he praised the security relationship between the two countries, he said, among other things, that delays in joint economic initiatives are harming relations between Israel and Jordan, mentioning the Sea-to-Sea or Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal project specifically.

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