Jordanian king visits Palestinian president

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RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: Jordan’s King Abdullah II began a rare visit to the occupied West Bank to meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Monday, Agence France-Presse journalists said, amid shared tensions with Israel over a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site.

WARM WELCOME Jordan’s King Abdullah II (C) speaks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (2nd-R) upon his arrival in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday. AFP PHOTO

In his first visit to Abbas’s headquarters in Ramallah in five years, Abdullah was welcomed on a red carpet near his helicopter by the Palestinian leader before the two national anthems were played.

The two men did not address the media but shook hands with senior Palestinian officials.

The visit came less than two weeks after the end of a standoff at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem after Israel imposed new security measures, including metal detectors, following an attack that killed two policemen.


Jordan, which is the custodian of the site, reacted angrily to the new measures, while Palestinians responded with days of protests.

The tensions were exacerbated on July 23 when an Israeli security guard shot dead two Jordanians at the Israeli embassy compound in the capital Amman.

One of the two men attacked the Israeli with a screwdriver, while the other was apparently shot dead by accident, according to Israeli officials.

The crisis eased on July 27 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the removal of the metal detectors, while he has also promised to investigate the embassy incident.

AFP

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