Jordan denies extending land deal to Israel

Jordan’s King Abdullah

Jordan’s King Abdullah

Jordan’s King, Abdullah bin Al-Hussein

Jordan will not extend parts of its peace treaty with Israel that focused on agricultural land use rights, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

In 2018, King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein said he terminated an appendix to the 1994 treaty, which gave Israelis the right to use the border areas of al-Baqura and al-Ghamr for 25 years. The 25th anniversary of the agreement is sometime this month.

However, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Sufian al-Qudah, denied reports in Israeli media that the Kingdom would renew the land deal.

“There will be no renewal or extension,” al-Qudah said. Consultations held with the Israeli side were not to discuss renewing the deal, but “to make arrangements for the next stage,” he added, without elaboration.

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The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Jordan followed in 1994.

The Jordanian king has faced domestic pressure to downgrade ties with Israel amid tensions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the shooting of a Jordanian man by an Israeli embassy guard in Amman.