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Reports: Israel defence minister secretly met Jordan king

Jordanian King Abdullah II at the European Parliament in France on 15 January 2020 [FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images]
Jordanian King Abdullah II at the European Parliament in France on 15 January 2020 [FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz allegedly met secretly with Jordan's King Abdullah II, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said the meeting took place in Jordan, but did not specify the precise date of the meeting.

Gantz, who is leading the Blue and White party in the upcoming Israeli elections, told his party members earlier that he was conducting secret meetings with top Jordanian officials.

Gantz also criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's relationship with Amman, accusing him of harming Israel's relations with Jordan.

"I think Jordan is a great asset to Israel, and I think that our relationship with Jordan could be 1,000 times better. Unfortunately, Netanyahu is an unwanted figure in Jordan, and his presence harms" the two countries' relations, Gantz said.

The Jordanian authorities have yet to comment on the Israeli media report.

According to the Israeli daily, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also met twice with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman al-Safadi in the past months and discussed possible joint projects.

Jordan shares the longest borders with Israel, where both signed a peace agreement in 1994, and became the second Arab country to establish official ties with Israel following Egypt, which signed its peace agreement with Israel in 1979.

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