Analysts speculate on King’s meeting with Arab leaders

His Majesty King Abdullah II receives Egypt President, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Prime Minister of Iraq in Aqaba. (Photo: Royal Court)
AMMAN — Regional issues and the effects of the war in Ukraine topped the agenda of a meeting between His Majesty King Abdullah and three Arab leaders, political analysts interviewed by Jordan News suggest.اضافة اعلان

The King met on Friday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Aqaba, according to a Royal Court statement.

Citing an anonymous official source, AFP said the “consultative brotherly meeting dealt with recent international and regional developments”.

According to Amer Al-Sabaileh, a political analyst and university professor, five key topics would have been discussed.

Firstly, the war in Ukraine, particularly the US’ stance on the conflict.

Secondly, the possibility of Syria’s rejoining of the Arab League, following President Bashar Al-Assad’s visit to the UAE on March 18.
Meeting dealt with recent international and regional developments — AFP
Thirdly, Iran’s nuclear and ballistic arsenal, given the Gulf Arab states’ negative attitude towards the nuclear agreement between the Islamic republic and the West.

Sabaileh said that the meeting between the foreign ministers of the US, Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco will likely involve a discussion of reviving the Abraham Accords and widening the “peace circle”.

Fourthly, the possibility of escalations of violence in the West Bank and Gaza during the fasting month of Ramadan, which Sabaileh said “means that we should be ready for options that have been absent from the political arena: (an) escalation in the West Bank would create chaos close to Jordan and Egypt.”

Finally, Sabaileh speculated that economic relations were discussed. He contended that it was important to establish a firm political groundwork for any economic cooperation, as all future projects are likely to cross borders.

“Jordan was mistaken to isolate itself in the past years and allow other countries to play the vital role it used to play,” Sabaileh said.

Political writer and analyst Hamadeh Faraneh told Jordan News that the meeting likely evaluated the regional and international situation and its effects on the Arab world, ahead of the upcoming Arab Summit in Algeria.

Faraneh also agreed that Syria rejoining the Arab League was one of the meeting’s discussion points alongside keeping the Palestinian issue at the heart of the Arab League’s interests at the upcoming summit.

In light of Assad’s visit to the UAE, Faraneh said that this “positive attitude would open new doors.” Even if the US did not welcome Syria rejoining the Arab League, “it would not act as a strategic obstacle,” he said.

On the topic of the war in Ukraine, Faraneh said that the leaders and officials would have discussed their neutral stance towards the conflict, as “no Arab leader can take sides”.

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