Jordan, Israel agree on water trade, more West Bank trade

Amman, Jordan (AP) — Jordan reached an agreement on Thursday to purchase another 50 million cubic meters of water from Israel and increase exports to the occupied west coast from $ 160 million to about $ 700 million annually. The two countries officially announced a statement.

The agreement signed at the meeting between foreign ministers showed that relations with the new Israeli government had improved after many years of tense relations under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Aiman ​​Saffadi and Israeli counterpart Yale Rapid, the leader behind the new government formed last month, met Thursday at the Hussein Bridge between Jordan and the Israeli-occupied west coast. ..

Jordan said the technical team will reveal details in the coming days and talks on the implementation of export caps will be held between Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian officials.

Saffadi called on Israel to stop new efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and “illegal” measures to undermine such efforts.

He emphasized the importance of maintaining the status quo with Al-Aqsa Mosque compounds. Flash Point Sanctuary In Jerusalem under Jordan’s control.He also said it would be a “war crime” Drive Palestinian family out of the house In East Jerusalem. Both issues fueled tensions and helped ignite an 11-day war in Gaza between Israel and the radical Hamas rulers of its territory in May.

Rapid called Jordan “an important neighbor and partner” and said Israel would strive to strengthen relations and expand economic cooperation.

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director of Eco Peace Middle East, an environmental group in Jordan, Palestine and Israel, said the deal showed a “dramatic increase” in water exports from Israel. now.

He said Jordan still faces a water shortage of 500 million cubic meters per year and must import quite a lot of water to continuously supply all its needs. Jordan is one of the driest countries on the planet and its water scarcity is expected to be exacerbated by climate change.

Israel and Jordan entered into peace in 1994 and maintained close security ties, but in recent years tensions in Al-Axa, expansion of Israeli settlements on land victorious in the Israeli war, and long-term peace Relationships are tense over the lack of progress. To process.

Both Jordan and Palestinian have categorically opposed the Trump administration’s Middle East program, which would allow Israel to annex up to one-third of the occupied West Bank. Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan during the 1967 war. This is the territory that Palestinians want as part of their future nation.

The announcement was made a few days before King Abdullah II of Jordan visited the White House. The Biden administration has called on all sides to take steps that can help lay the foundation for the resumption of possible peace talks.

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