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Israeli MK: Jordan supports our military presence in Valley

A member of Parliament affiliated with Likud Party and a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that Jordan supports Israel's insistence on maintaining its military presence in Jordan Valley as part of any final status agreement with the Palestinians.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Ofir Akunis, the Likud MK, said that Israeli officials received responses from their Jordanian counterparts where they expressed concern regarding the possibility of Israel's withdrawal from the borders that separate the West Bank from Jordan.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Akunis as saying "Jordanians oppose Israeli withdrawal from Jordan Valley because they fear the establishment of a palestinian state controlled by radical groups like Hamas and Al-Qaeda which would endanger the rule of the King of Jordan, not just Tel Aviv."

Netanyahu met Thursday with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman in a "surprise visit". The meeting focused on the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Upon returning to Israel, Netanyahu stressed on the important role played by Jordan under the leadership of Kind Abdullah II in his efforts towards reaching an agreement between Palestinians and Israelis. He stated that Israel attaches great importance to the security arrangements, including Jordan's interests in any future agreement, and that it will take into account the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, which took place twenty years ago.

Last month, an Israeli ministerial committee had agreed on a bill to annex the Jordan Valley to Israel, thus ensuring that the region remains within Israeli sovereignty, even if a peace agreement is signed with the Palestinians. Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Nasour stated that the annexation of the Jordan Valley will violate the peace agreement signed between the two countries in 1994.

Source: Al Jazeera net

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