On Friday, King Abdullah II of Jordan held a four-way meeting that included Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, in Aqaba, in the south of the Kingdom, to discuss international and regional developments.
The official “Al-Mamlaka” channel reported that the meeting was “consultative” in the city overlooking the Red Sea, 325 km south of Amman.
An official source, who preferred not to be named, told AFP that “the fraternal consultative meeting dealt with the latest international and regional developments.”
The meeting, according to a statement issued by the Royal Court, was also attended by Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, Minister of State and Member of the Saudi Cabinet, Prince Turki bin Muhammad bin Abdulaziz, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Zayed, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun.
“The consultative meetings do not result in agreements or understandings, but everyone is trying to feel their foothold in the light of the international and regional scene,” writer and political analyst Oraib Al-Rantawi told AFP.
Al-Rantawi, director of the Al-Quds Center for Policy Studies, added that the war in Ukraine “puts most of these parties (Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and the UAE) in a critical category, as most of them are historically allies and friends of Washington, but they have very deep relations and interests with Moscow.”
He explained that “these countries cannot turn their back on Washington and cannot trade with them at the same time and gamble on beneficial relations with Russia.”
He pointed out that the Aqaba meeting came “within the framework of a series of meetings that revitalized as a result of developments in the region and at the international level, and intensified efforts to put out fires before they broke out.”
The meeting comes ahead of a tour that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken started on Saturday in the region, including Israel, the West Bank, Morocco and Algeria.
On Friday, Israel announced that it would host a “historic” meeting on Sunday and Monday between the foreign ministers of the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Bahrain, three Arab countries that have recently normalized their relations with Israel.
The Aqaba meeting also comes a few days after a tripartite meeting between Sisi and bin Zayed with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Sharm el-Sheikh.
According to Rantawi, “the situation in the Palestinian territories is close to an explosion, and there is a fear of a major explosion that may have repercussions on neighboring countries.”
He added that “any explosion in the Palestinian territories may be a spark that ignites the situation in neighboring countries,” noting that the repercussions of the Ukraine crisis, the rise in prices and the repercussions of the Corona pandemic make “the situation more likely to explode… Everyone is trying to avoid the spark.”