King Abdullah II Chopper Lands in Ramallah for Talks with Abbas
Aug 08 2017
Jordan's King Abdullah visited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah for the first time in almost five years.
The king flew in by helicopter, with the visit coordinated with Israeli authorities which control all entrance and exit points to the West Bank, including its 150 km (93 mile) border with Jordan and the air space above. It comes amid tensions between Israel and Abbas over a Jerusalem holy site, and Israel and Jordan over an incident in which an Israeli security guard in Amman killed two Jordanians after one of them attacked him.
The mosque compound is in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967 in a move never recognised by the global community.
In the middle of the crisis over the metal detectors, Abbas suspended security coordination with Israel, and it has remained suspended despite their removal.
He went on saying "this visit is a message of support for Palestinian after they have come out of this tough confrontation, and we hope that whit meeting will yield a coordination for future confrontations (with Israel) because this is a disgusting occupation that has no peace agenda". According to Petra, he "confirmed the importance of working with the USA administration to move the peace process and relaunch serious and efficient negotiations based on the two state solution".
It is the Jordanian royal's first visit in five years to the city of Ramallah, a Palestinian official said.
Jordan, which is the custodian of the site, reacted angrily to the new measures, while Palestinians responded with days of protests.
Abdullah is also playing a role in liaising with Egypt and others to see if long-standing differences between Abbas's Western-backed Fatah party and the rival Hamas movement can be resolved.
The visit is reportedly expected to bolster Abbas' political position as he has recently severed political ties with Israel.
Thousands of Muslim worshipers participate in evening prayers outside the Lions Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, refusing to enter the Temple Mount enclosure to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque inside, July 25, 2017.
Jordan's official Petra news agency said in a statement that the king traveled to Palestine to hail the "steadfastness" of the people in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds against recent Israeli measures to restrict access to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.