Jordan’s king raises Palestine’s plight in talks with Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, welcomes Jordan’s King Abdullah at the Elysee Palace. (AP)
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Updated 17 January 2020

Jordan’s king raises Palestine’s plight in talks with Macron

  • Both leaders also highlighted the need for de-escalation in the conflict between Iran and the US

PARIS: France is committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, French President Emmanuel Macron told Jordan’s King Abdullah during talks between the two leaders at the Elysee Palace.

Macron’s comments came a week before he is due to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Discussions between the French leader and King Abdullah centered on the Israeli-Palestinian question, the plight of Syrian refugees in Jordan and the country’s struggling economy.

Both leaders also highlighted the need for de-escalation in the conflict between Iran and the US, diplomatic sources told Arab News.

King Abdullah said that a political solution to the Syrian conflict is needed urgently.

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Discussions between the French leader and King Abdullah centered on the Israeli-Palestinian question, the plight of Syrian refugees in Jordan and the country’s struggling economy.

Without an agreement on safe, voluntary repatriation, Jordan cannot put pressure on Syrian refugees to return to their country, he told Macron.

Since 2018 the number of Syrian refugees returning home had dwindled, he said, with 90 percent now living outside camps in cities and regional areas.

The Jordanian leader has called for international efforts to ensure refugees’ voluntary and safe return to their homeland, and is appealing to France to lead a European push for this solution.

King Abdullah urged France — Jordan’s biggest investor outside the Arab League — to increase investment in the country, saying that although its political and security situation is stable, the struggling economy “could lead to a crisis.” 

The two leaders agreed on the need for de-escalation between the US and Iran, both in public comments and on the ground, and also called for a consensus Iraqi government that will “protect the country, its unity and sovereignty.”

The Jordanian leader told Macron that the “fragile situation” in Lebanon must be addressed and a consensus government established as quickly as possible.


Israeli security agency says it arrested alleged Iran spy

Updated 15 min 29 sec ago

Israeli security agency says it arrested alleged Iran spy

  • The Shin Bet alleged in a statement the man was in contact with Iranian agents abroad, where he was given money, guidance and encryption tools
  • Israel and Iran are bitter enemies who have long fought a shadow war that over the last year has increasingly spilled out into the open

JERUSALEM: Israel’s domestic security agency said Tuesday it arrested an Israeli citizen alleged to have spied for Iran.
The Shin Bet alleged in a statement the man was in contact with Iranian agents abroad, where he was given money, guidance and encryption tools.
The Shin Bet said the man was expected to provide information on strategic Israeli sites, ways to promote division in Israeli society, carry out attacks against Israeli targets and enlist Arab citizens of Israel to assist Iran.
The man, whose identity was barred from publication by an Israeli court, was arrested last month and indicted Tuesday for “serious security-related offenses.”
The Shin Bet said the arrest highlights Iranian efforts “to carry out spy and terror activity within Israel, this also at a time when the world is facing the coronavirus epidemic which has badly spread in Iran.”
Iran is facing the worst virus outbreak in the Middle East. Iran’s state TV said Tuesday the new coronavirus has killed another 133 people, pushing the country’s death toll to 3,872 amid 62,589 confirmed cases.
Israel and Iran are bitter enemies who have long fought a shadow war that over the last year has increasingly spilled out into the open. And although both countries are occupied with fighting COVID-19, the illness caused by the new virus, hostilities between them remain.