Monday, 12 November 2018 | The incoming ambassadors of Jordan and Egypt both reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to sustainable peace with Israel in a meeting with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on Thursday, the Times of Israel reported.
Rivlin, who greeted the men in Arabic, accepted letters of credence from Ghassan Majali of Jordan and Khaled Azmi of Egypt, the newly appointed ambassadors to Israel. In separate meetings with the officials, Rivlin hailed the peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt as anchors of regional stability, while expressing his wish to strengthen and deepen the relationship.
“We are determined to live in peace with our neighbors, and we are hopeful and optimistic that others will do as you have done,” Rivlin told the Jordanian ambassador.
Majali, who previously served as the Hashemite Kingdom’s envoy to Spain, stressed the important anniversary of the peace treaty that will be celebrated next year.
“We remember the huge efforts made by great leaders, the late King Hussein [bin Talal of Jordan] and the late Yizhak Rabin, who stood firm in the face of all odds,” he said. “King Abdullah believes that the peace treaty is a cornerstone for peace in the region and in the world and that a breakthrough in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process is a top priority for the Hashemite Kingdom. Thank you for your warm welcome, Mr. President.”
Rivlin responded to the ambassador, saying: “We appreciate the key role that Jordan plays as an island of stability in our region. But we can still do more to broaden cooperation in areas that impact on both our peoples.” He continued: “We breathe the same air and live on the same piece of land. When you lack water, we lack water. We must do more to find ways of confronting these challenges together.”
In his meeting with the Egyptian ambassador, Rivlin observed that in a few months both countries will mark the 40th anniversary of the Egyptian–Israeli peace treaty.
“Since the peace treaty was signed nearly 40 years ago, we have welcomed six Egyptian ambassadors. Now you are the seventh. I wish you success during your time here,” Rivlin said.
The Egyptian ambassador took the opportunity to mark the occasion. “It was an important step and the vision of great statesmen, and it remains a pillar of stability and an example that should be followed around the region,” Azmi said. “Egypt remains committed to the peace treaty and to bringing peace to the whole region. We are proud of our history, which is a model of tolerance, coexistence and acceptance.”
Rivlin observed that, “We face similar challenges and our military and intelligence cooperation is of strategic importance.” He also noted the vital cooperation between Egypt and Israel in fighting Islamic extremism.
“Together, we can face the challenges of terrorism and ISIS in Sinai and Gaza better. Under the leadership of your president, Egypt plays a key role in the Arab world as a voice of reason and moderation. We appreciate your efforts towards stability in the region, and particularly with the Palestinians in Gaza,” Rivlin stated.
Jordan and Egypt remain the only two Arab countries to have signed peace treaties with Israel. However, in recent months, several other Arab states have intensified their relations with the Jewish state, including Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Joshua S. Block, CEO and president of the Israel Project, said these developments “will change the region for the better.”
Posted on November 12, 2018
Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on November 9, 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: GPO/Haim Zach/Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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