Egypt’s President El-Sisi makes whirlwind visit to Jordan

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King Abdullah II of Jordan (L) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi review an honor guard at Marka International Aiport, in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2018. (AFP)
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King Abdullah II of Jordan (R) welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at Marka International Aiport, in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2018. (AFP)
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King Abdullah II of Jordan (R) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi review an honor guard at Marka International Aiport, in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2018. / AFP / Khalil MAZRAAWI
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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi arrives at Marka International Aiport, in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 13 January 2019

Egypt’s President El-Sisi makes whirlwind visit to Jordan

  • Egypt might try to lobby Jordan to push the Palestinians into accepting the US peace plan
  • Egypt and Jordan must prepare for what comes next in Syria, says expert

AMMAN: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has visited Jordan to meet King Abdullah II to discuss regional political and economic issues, as well as Palestine and Syria.
Mamdouh Abadi, the former Jordanian prime minister, told Arab News he believed the visit was largely about Iran and Syria. “The timing of the visit, just after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s tour of the region, makes me think the visit was not about Palestine, but about Syria.” 
Veteran politician Abadi added: “I am happy there was a visit. I hope that President El-Sisi discusses Syria with others. Now that the UAE has restored ties with Damascus, this should loosen the regional boycott of Syria.”
Lamis Andoni, a veteran commentator on US-Arab relations, told Arab News he thought there was a clear link between the visit of Pompeo and suggestions of the creation of a pan-Arab military alliance.
“Jordan has no choice but to improve relations with Egypt. Egypt and Jordan must prepare for what comes next in Syria.”
Andoni believes that the problems lie with the Trump administration’s haphazard foreign policy. “All of a sudden, Washington decides something, and wants regional partners to produce results according to its vision,” he said. “If an Arab ‘NATO’ force is created, will it be asked to help remove Iran from Syria?”
Anis F. Kassim, editor of the Palestinian Yearbook of International Law, however, was not convinced that the Palestinian issue was not discussed at the meeting in Amman. 
Kassim told Arab News he worried Egypt might try to lobby Jordan to push the Palestinians into accepting the US peace plan. “Jordan has been a strong opponent to the ‘Deal of the Century,’ and when it comes to Jerusalem it is more principled than the Palestinian leadership,” he said.
The meeting in Amman was also attended by Jordan’s crown prince, Hussein Bin Abdullah, the Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi, and Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry.


Teen killed in clashes between Palestinian forces, gunmen

Updated 58 sec ago

Teen killed in clashes between Palestinian forces, gunmen

JERUSALEM: A teenager was shot and killed in overnight clashes between Palestinian forces and local gunmen in the West Bank, local media reported Wednesday.
Salah Zakarna, 17, was shot in the chest and later died when Palestinian security forces clashed with armed residents in the northern West Bank town of Qabatiya, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported. It was unclear who shot him.
Maan said Palestinian forces were trying to prevent residents from firing celebratory gunfire into the air to welcome home a local man who had been released from an Israeli prison. It said several people, including members of the security forces, were wounded.
The Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said it launched an investigation into the teenager’s death and would bring those responsible to justice.
Support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has plummeted in recent years following his failure to bring about an independent state or mend the rift with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority has also faced widespread allegations of corruption.
Abbas has continued to maintain security ties with Israel more than a decade after the last high-level peace talks ended. The security coordination is deeply unpopular among Palestinians, many of whom view it as an extension of the occupation.