Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi arrived at Amman’s Marka military airport on Monday, where he was greeted by Jordan’s King Abdullah II to attend a summit aimed at preparing the political ground for the post-President Donald Trump era.
Diplomatic relations between the Egyptian and Jordanian government existed since Jordan became independent in 1946.
An official reception ceremony was held for the Egyptian president at the military airport.
The visit followed an important meeting of Jordanian, Egyptian and Palestinian intelligence officers in Ramallah on Jan. 16. Adnan Abu Odeh, former adviser of King Hussein and King Abdullah said that the flurry of meetings reflects important political movement in the region.
Abu Odeh pointed to a key meeting on Jan. 11 that was held in Cairo for the Quartet for peace in the Middle East that also included the foreign ministers of France and Germany.
Jordan and Egypt are emerging as potential new members of the Quartet after the foreign ministers of both countries joined a meeting of the multilateral forum in Cairo last week.
The Quartet, consisting of the UN, EU, US and Russia, was established in 2002 to help mediate Middle East peace negotiations.
If Abu Odeh’s statements are anything to go bye, it would seem regional and international officials are trying to undo President Trump’s efforts, especially with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, support to UNRWA and the reopening of diplomatic offices between Palestinians and the US. Abu Odeh pointed out that Jordan has 2 million registered Palestinian refugees which he seems to think is problematic.
Oraib Rantawi, director of the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies, said the flurry of movement also reflects the decision by the Palestinian president to hold new elections this summer. “What the Jordanian and Egyptian leaders are concerned about is the possible results of the elections. They are not in the mood for any new surprises,” he said.
Rantawi was referring to the victory of a pro-Hamas slate in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections that eventually triggered an international boycott of Gaza and a deep Palestinian split.
Palestinian leaders are expected to meet in Cairo in the coming days to discuss, among other issues, the possibility of Fatah and Hamas reconciling by means of participating in the coming elections with a single joint list.
Rantawi expressed concerns over the recent normalization of relations between the two Gulf countries and Israel saying it will “not make much of a difference” through the Biden era, “It is possible that some of the Gulf countries will be expected to increase support for UNRWA and to help Gaza dig itself out of the long economic siege that it had suffered from,”.
According to the Egyptian presidency, at Basman Palace, the two leaders discussed ways to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation in various fields, including mechanisms to expand tripartite Jordanian-Egyptian-Iraqi cooperation.
The discussions expanded into ways to boost Egyptian-Jordanian relations, in addition to exchanging views on regional issues in light of the keenness of both sides for regular coordination to unify efforts to protect Arab national security.
Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq are also emerging as an economic grouping with an emphasis on the need for cooperation on energy and agriculture.
A Royal Court statement said the parties wish to continue their joint aspiration to build on what has been accomplished in the previous three summits.
El-Sissi and Abdullah also discussed regional developments, including the Palestinian peace process.
Abdullah stressed the need to achieve a just and comprehensive peace on the basis of a two-state solution, which guarantees the establishment of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, the statement added.
The Egyptian delegation accompanying the Egyptian president included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Head of General Intelligence and the Commander of the Republican Guards.