Jordan Cancels Part of Peace Agreement with Israel

Amman veut reprendre des zones prêtées à Israël en vertu de l'accord de paix de 1994

Jordan will not renew parts of a 1994 peace treaty that leases two areas on the Jordan River to Israel, saying Jordan aims to practice "full sovereignty on our land".

"Our priorities in such hard regional circumstances are protecting our interests and doing everything necessary for Jordan and the Jordanians", Abdullah II noted, adding that Israel had been made aware of the decision.

King Abdullah II posted a tweet on his Twitter account, which read "Baqura and Ghamr areas have always been our top priority and our decision is to end Article 2 of Annexes I (b) of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty emanating from our keenness to take whatever is necessary for Jordan and Jordanians".

The decision comes a few days after Jordanians held demonstrations in Amman demanding that the territories be returned to Jordan and remain under its sovereignty.

Speaking to a local Jordanian news channel, Safadi insisted that the Hashemite kingdom would not renege on King Abdullah II's promise to take back control of the areas that Israel has been allowed to lease for the past 25 years.

But he said Israel "will enter negotiations with it on the possibility of extending the current arrangement".

With the validity of the treaty's annex ending on October 25, debate over the land, the treaty and the government's decision resurfaced after 25 years.

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The deal was signed in November 1994 by Abdullah's father, King Hussein, and then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Jordan is one of only two Arab states that has a peace treaty with Israel and the two countries have a long history of close security ties. Many in Jordan have recently called on their government not to renew the agreement with Israel.

They have also been expanding economic ties in the previous year including a major deal to export billions of dollars of Israeli gas to the kingdom through a pipeline that crosses their northern borders.

Relations deteriorated past year after an Israeli guard at the Israeli embassy in Amman shot and killed two Jordanians, saying one, a teenager, had tried to attack him with a screwdriver and that a second person was hit in the crossfire. An incident a year ago in which an Israeli security guard killed two Jordanian citizens within the Israeli embassy compound added to the tension.

In fact, Naharayim - Hebrew for two rivers, as it is located between the Yarmuk and Jordan Rivers - was opened this year to Israeli visitors under the name "Island of Peace".

Under the treaty, Israel retained private land ownership and special travel rights in Baquora in the northwestern part of the kingdom and Ghumar in the south.

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