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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

From Combined Services

Amman—Faced with threats from its next door neighbor Syria, a threat shared with its other neighbor, Israel, French sources report that Jordan opened two air corridors to make it possible for Israeli drones to fly over Syria without flying over Lebanon. Le Figaro, a French newspaper reported that the decision followed a secret meeting between King Abdullah and Bashar Assad, the Syrian president, and another meeting last month with President Obama. The urgency of their cooperation was heightened after U.S. intelligence sources confirmed that Assad’s troops had used Sarin, a poison nerve gas, on dissidents.

According to Jeff Goldberg of The Atlantic and www.bloomberg.com, the relationship between the king and the prime minister is very strong, and their discussions have improved. The two men met at the end of March. Agence France Presse said that the meeting revolved around the Mid-East Peace Process. Israel now also has diplomatic/military ties to most of the Gulf States in their quest to protect the vulnerable and literally flammable region from any Iranian attacks. How it will turn out is anyone’s guess.

During his swearing in, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he was committed to the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. “They are the foundations of stability in the Middle East and must be preserved. That is our policy; it must also be our neighbors’ policy and I believe it will be the case in the coming years.”

Despite the peaceful words, one of Jordan’s “moderate” political parties expelled one of its members for visiting Israel and shaking Shimon Peres’ hand, supposedly on Yom Haatzmaut. Although Muhammad Esa al-Doima, a member of the Al-Wasat Al-Islamiy party, denies the reports that led to his ouster, his protests proved futile, and calls to Peres’ office, so far, have not generated a response. This moderate party opposes any normalization with Israel. Other Jordanian Parliament members called for his expulsion from the government altogether. The brouhaha highlights the delicate balance that King Abdullah must cope with in order to keep internal as well as external peace in his country.