His Majesty King Abdullah’s visit to Ankara for talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was timely as their discussions occurred when President Donald Trump made his infamous speech recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and deciding to relocate his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as soon as possible.
As Jordan called for an emergency Arab meeting to respond to President Trump’s provocations, President Erdogan in his capacity as the president of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is convening an Islamic summit as well to take place in Istanbul on December 13.
The two leaders have similar concerns about the dire consequences of Trump’s decision and share common views on how to react to it.
As the King said, during the talks which saw the participation of senior officials from both sides including the prime ministers and foreign ministers, recent regional developments require close coordination and consultations between the two countries.
“As we both agree,” said the King, “the Palestinian cause continues to be the region’s central issue. There is no alternative to the two-state solution, and Jerusalem is key to any peace agreement”. The King went on to say “it [Jerusalem] is key to the stability of the entire region.”
The King warned that “ignoring the Palestinian, Muslim and Christian rights in Jerusalem will only fuel further extremism, and undermine the war against terrorism”.
The King added that “we in Jordan, as the custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites, we will persist in undertaking our religious and historical responsibilities towards Al Aqsa Mosque and Al Haram Al Sharif, and uphold our role in protecting Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem”.
Of course, other regional developments were also discussed including the search for a political solution to the Syrian conflict on the basis of Astana and Geneva processes so that regional stability can be restored.
Bilateral issues including trade and commerce also figured highly in the talks especially when the volume of trade between the two countries has reached $1 billion.
Turkey is a major regional Player and cooperating with Ankara in facing regional challenges is paramount.
Ties between the two countries are strong and deep-rooted. Maintaining contacts between the two sides has become even more urgent in view of current developments.
The King’s visit was short in duration but long in enhancing the brotherly relations between the two countries.