Include Palestinians in regional development projects, King of Jordan tells Israeli PM

The king also met US President Joe Biden in Jeddah this month

Jordan's King Abdullah, right, receives Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Amman on July 27, 2022. AFP
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Jordan's King Abdullah II on Wednesday met Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and told him that the Palestinians must take part in any regional development projects, official Jordanian media reported.

The monarch has made repeated calls not to exclude the Palestinians as more normal relations between Arab states and Israel picked up pace in the past several months.

It was the first meeting between the two men since Mr Lapid became Israeli prime minister this month.

King Abdullah affirmed the need to find "a political horizon to achieve a just and comprehensive peace. ... and regional development of which the Palestinians must be a part", the official news agency said.

The meeting came days after the king met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman and said that kingdom was against any Middle East moves that could exclude Palestinians.

The kingdom signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. A large proportion of its 10 million population are of Palestinian origin, having fled successive conflicts between Arab states and Israel between 1947 and the early 1980s.

The region is experiencing a pick -up in diplomacy after US President Joe Biden visited the region this month and met Arab leaders on a visit aimed primarily at repairing strained ties with Gulf nations.

Mr Biden met Mr Abbas in Bethlehem on July 15 and pledged $100 million in extra aid to the Palestinians, but did not offer any new peace plan.

A day later he told leaders of the GCC, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq in Jeddah that Washington "would not walk away from the Middle East".

The king said last month that Jordan was working to put the Palestinian issue at the top of the agenda for the Jeddah summit.

"His majesty mentioned the need to build on President Biden's visit to the region," the official news agency said.

Updated: July 28, 2022, 5:59 AM