Jerusalem will take Jordan's security interests into consideration in any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured Jordan's King Abdullah on Thursday.
Netanyahu returned to Jerusalem early Thursday afternoon, after meeting with the king at his palace in Amman. Netanyahu's office did not announce the visit prior to his return to Israel.
"The prime minister emphasized the important role Jordan, under the leadership of King Abdullah, plays in the efforts to achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians," said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office. "The prime minister stressed that Israel has placed an emphasis on security arrangements, including Jordanian interests, in any future agreement," adding that any deal would take into consideration the peace treaty signed between Israel and Jordan 20 years ago.
Netanyahu was in Amman for closed-door talks with the king on the latest about the latest "developments in the peace process" brokered by the United States.
Netanyahu made at least three similar visits to Jordan last year.
Jordan maintains cordial relations with Israel under a peace treaty signed in 1994 — one of only two signed agreements the Jewish state has with an Arab country.
Jordanian media, meanwhile, reported that the meeting with Netanyahu followed a series of meetings in recent weeks between King Abdullah and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Abdullah has been working to help move the Israeli-Palestinian talks forward, but has also sought to protect his country's interests in the event a peace deal takes shape – especially if it concerns the core issues.
The Americans and Palestinians have updated the Jordanians on the negotiations at every step of the way, prompting some disagreement when it comes to Jordan's stake in the core issues, Haaretz has learned.
Among the issues pertaining to Jordan are the western border of the Jordan Valley, the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees and water supplies.
Palestinian sources involved in the negotiations told Haaretz that the Jordanians are interested in an "effective force" being placed along the border with a future Palestinian state – which the Palestinians took to mean a multinational force comprising not just Palestinian security personnel.
Haaretz has learned that the Americans have suggested the force placed in the Jordan Valley contain Palestinian and Israeli soldiers or police along with American or international boots on the ground. That discussion also included talk of scenarios in which Palestinian forces would be placed in Israel proper or Israeli forces in the Palestinian state.
The Palestinian sources also said the Jordanians want to clarify their position regarding Palestinian refugees, as any agreement on that issue would directly affect Jordan, which has recently absorbed hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn Syria.
In addition, Jordan has a stake in the final status of Jerusalem, where it would like to maintain its position as a custodian of the city's holy sites, particularly the Al-Aqsa (Temple Mount) compound.
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