Jordan Confirms Stalling Flight Approval for Netanyahu's Nixed UAE Visit

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File photo: Jordan's King Abdulla meets Israeli PM Netanyahu in Aqaba, Jordan.
File photo: Jordan's King Abdulla meets Israeli PM Netanyahu in Aqaba, Jordan.Credit: REUTERS

Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi confirmed Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned trip to the United Arab Emirates was aborted due to difficulties in coordinating the flight through Jordanian airspace.

On Thursday, Netanyahu canceled his visit to the UAE, claiming there were difficulties with approving the flight path with Jordan.

This marked the fourth time Netanyahu's historic visit to the kingdom, which would have been the first since the Gulf state established diplomatic ties with Israel, had been canceled.

In an interview with CNN, al-Safadi said that Jordan is "angry" with Israel after Amman canceled a visit by Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Wednesday over a dispute regarding security arrangements at the site.

Al-Safadi said that “A religious visit for worship at an extremely holy occasion was disrupted by Israeli measures that we don’t understand and don’t accept."

He added: “You renege on an agreement with Jordan, you disrupt a religious visit, you create conditions that made this religious visit on a holy occasion impossible and then you expect to come to Jordan and fly out of Jordan? Let’s be serious here."

“Last minute Israel reneged on those agreements, they violated their obligations as an occupying power and they also violated the right of freedom of worship, so that’s something we’re extremely unhappy with and angry about,” al-Safadi told CNN.

He added that the question why Netanyahu canceled his visit to the UAE should be "really addressed to Israel."

Jordan eventually did allow the flight to enter its airspace, but as the approval came too late, it was agreed by Netanyahu and Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to reschedule the visit.

In September, the UAE and Bahrain signed agreements to normalize ties with Israel, becoming the first Arab states in a quarter century to break a longstanding taboo.

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