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Jordanian king meets Abbas to quell tensions before Ramadan

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RAMALLAH: Jordan’s King Abdullah II met with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 28, March.

It is the king’s first trip to Ramallah since 2017, Abdullah’s visit came as foreign ministers from four Arab countries and the US wrapped up a meeting that host Israel hailed as “historic”, following a series of normalization agreements last year which angered the Palestinians.

According to the official, Abbas informs the US about the importance of advanced negotiations with Israel.

The leaders have also discussed potential difficulties in Jerusalem during Ramadan, notably between Jews and Muslims on the Temple Mount during Passover, which this year coincides with Ramadan.

According to local media, PA officials said, “We have no inclination in an escalation – but Israel is pushing for it thus far.”

If Israel wants to avoid conflict, an official advised that Jews be barred from visiting the Temple Mount, a hill in Jerusalem’s Old City that is sacred to both Muslims and Jews, during the whole month of Ramadan.

Tensions between Palestinian civilians and Jewish settlers, who live in colonies widely recognized as illegal under international law, remain high throughout the occupied region.

Jordan plays a significant role as the custodian of the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which is Islam’s third holiest site.

The top diplomats from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco — all established ties with Israel in 2020 — and Egypt, which recognized the Jewish state in 1979 — attended a summit deep inside Israel’s Negev desert on Monday.

Jordan, which was created in 1994, is the only other Arab country with full diplomatic relations with Israel.

Because of the large number of Palestinians that Jordan shelters, Mustafa said Amman had to be particularly “cautious about how it publicly navigates its relationship with Israel.”

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