Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a surprise trip to Jordan on Tuesdaday (January 24) for talks with King Abdullah.
During his meeting, King Abdullah told Netanyahu that Israel should respect the historic and legal status quo in the Holy Aqsa mosque and not violate it, the royal court said in a statement. The royal court quoted King Abdullah as saying that an end to violence was crucial to allow long-stalled peace talks to resume between the Palestinians and Israel.
On the other hand, Netanyahu’s office said the two leaders discussed regional issues, especially strategic, security and economic cooperation between Israel and Jordan. This was Netanyahu’s first visit to Jordan after he came back to power once again. King Abdullah had years of tense ties with Netanyahu during his past tenure as premier.
Netanyahu’s visit comes after Israel’s national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir paid a visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound under heavy security this month. The visit angered Palestinians and caused an outcry among Arab states.
Jews revere the Al-Aqsa mosque as the Temple Mount. The compound is Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina, while it’s the most sacred site of Judaism.