Hani al-Gamal – Cairo
During a brief visit to the Jordanian capital Amman and a meeting with Jordanian monarch King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi agreed to enhance cooperation with the Hashemite Kingdom.
Observers in Cairo say the Egyptian-Jordanian summit which took place earlier this month came at a critical time for the region, especially in the light of the series of peace agreements signed recently between Israel and a number of Arab countries.
“This can have negative impacts on the ability of the Palestinians to retrieve their rights,” said Mahmud Sedki, an independent Egyptian researcher on Arab Affairs.
“These agreements also make it more difficult for the Palestinians to convince the international community to back the two-state solution,” he told Medya News.
According to the Egyptian and Jordanian sides, talks between President Sisi and King Abdullah focused on the regional scene and means of enhancing cooperation between Egypt and Jordan.
The two leaders also discussed counterterrorism cooperation, especially against the background of the presence of many terrorist organisations in the region, ones that get backing from countries like Turkey.
The meeting also came as a new administration was taking over in the United States, amid expectations that this new administration would have an approach to the Middle East different from that of former US president Donald Trump.
King Abdullah of Jordan praised progress in his country’s relations with Egypt.
These relations have their own peculiarity, the Jordanian monarch said.
He also commended the Egyptian president for playing a role in bringing Arab countries together.
A Jordanian political analyst Mohamed al-Malkawi underscored the importance of the summit for economic and investment cooperation between Cairo and Amman. The two countries, he said, try to increase this cooperation in the presence of strong political ties between them.
“Egypt wants to utilize the road network it is constructing in increasing its trade with the Levant region,” Malkawi told Medya News.
Egypt has also resumed natural gas exports to Jordan after a suspension of several years. The populous Arab country was also selected to be the headquarters of the East Mediterranean Gas Organisation which will work to increase cooperation between gas producers and consumers in the region.
Egypt, Jordan and Iraq also agreed to enhance their trilateral cooperation on the road of becoming an economic bloc.
Malkawi said Egypt and Jordan have identical views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and means of bringing the Palestinians and the Israelis back to the negotiating table.
“The two countries agree on the need for reviving the Palestinian-Israeli peace process based on the two-state solution,” Malkawi said. “They reiterated several times that the Palestinian issue is an important pillar of their foreign policies.”