Herzog’s Historic Visit to Jordan

In the shadow of Palestinian terror, the Israeli president meets with Jordan’s king

By Yossi Aloni | | Topics: Jordan
Photo: Haim Zach/GPO

Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Wednesday condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Israel, and expressed condolences to the bereaved families at the outset of his historic meeting with the President of the State of Israel Isaac Herzog at the Al Husseiniya Palace in Amman.

The Jordanians were careful to emphasize that the king expressed condemnation of violence in all its forms, in his words:

“…we completely and utterly condemn any kind of violence, as we have witnessed so many tragic attacks on civilians on both sides and especially what happened last night…”

The meeting this week was the first time a public visit of an Israeli president at the Amman Palace has featured Israeli flags. Herzog flew to Amman in an Israel Air Force helicopter. He was welcomed in an official ceremony by an honor guard against the backdrop of Israeli and Jordanian flags. He then met with King Abdullah II for a one-on-one chat, followed by a meeting with delegations from both sides.

Israel President Isaac Herzog welcomed by an honor guard in Amman. Photo: Haim Zach/GPO

Israeli President Herzog

At the start of the meeting, President Herzog opened by saying:

“Thank you very much, Your Majesty, my good friend. Thank you for your warm hospitality and friendship and for inviting me to this unique event, which I think expresses the friendship between our peoples. I bring a message of warm regards and friendship from the Israeli people.

“We have suffered heinous terror attacks in the last ten days. Eleven innocent lives were taken in terrible attacks by vile terrorists. We must fight together against any type of terror and cooperate for the benefit of the security of our nations. We in Israel are extremely sad today. People are going to funerals. And I thank you for your condemnation as well as many other nations and leaders, including in our region, condemning this heinous attack.

“We share common values of prosperity and peace, based on our peace agreement, which was carved out by the late King Hussein, your legendary father, as well as by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Together, we must now move forward, and we are offering an alternative. As against the horrible scenes of yesterday, we offer a different alternative of people-to-people dialogue, of respect, of speaking to each other, of showing the region that there could be a different way.

“I always say, the fact that Muslim leaders are meeting together, Jewish leaders and Israeli leaders is an alternative to the abyss of hatred and bloodshed. And therefore we move forward with partnerships, with dialogue, towards peace and prosperity for the benefit of all peoples of the region, including our nations and including our Palestinian neighbors.

“As we enter these holy days, for all three religions, with Easter, Passover, and of course Ramadan, we must move towards enabling everyone to practice their beliefs in safety, in security, in calm circumstances. This is what we need to work towards, and we know that there is a constant dialogue between the Israeli Government and your government towards that goal, as well as all other partners in the region.

“May I conclude, Your Majesty, by wishing you, your family, and the entire people of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan a Ramadan Kareem, in peace and prosperity. Thank you very much.”

Meeting at the palace. Photo: Haim Zach/GPO

Jordan’s King Abdullah

King Abdullah on his part emphasized the need for everyone to work for peace, so that the Palestinians and Israelis do not continue to pay the painful price of conflict, and so that the entire region can realize its full potential. The king further said that this conflict has been going on for a long time, and that the resulting violence continues to constitute fertile ground for extremism.

His Majesty expressed Jordan’s condemnation of violence in all its forms, and the consequent loss of innocent life. “Every innocent life matters to all of us,” said the king.

King Abdullah also said that he sees President Herzog’s visit as an opportunity for an in-depth discussion on how to move forward in efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace, and to build a future that contains promising opportunities for all, including achieving common security, and avoiding crises and violence.

His Majesty noted that the region has great opportunities for cooperation and economic integration and added:

“We cannot have this exclusive process. It has to be an inclusive process for all of us to be able to chart a new future for the Middle East. This has to obviously include our friends the Palestinians.

“You and I, sir, are going to work as hard as we can with all our colleagues to maintain calm and make sure, again, that we do not move to any unilateral measures that undermine the process of peace.”

The king reiterated the need to avoid any measures that might interfere with the access of worshipers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, especially with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and stressed the need not to harm the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem and its holy places.

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox