Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman on Monday to discuss ways to advance regional peace, Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

The visit was not previously announced.

The two leaders "discussed regional developments and advancing the peace process and bilateral relations", the statement said.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, the US envoy to the Middle East and Trumps son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, Trumps Middle East peace negotiator, are expected in the region this week to discuss their peace plan.

US President Donald Trump's administration has been working on a long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, but it has yet to be made public.

Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994 – one of two Arab countries, along with Egypt, to have treaties with it.

Abdullahs Hashemite dynasty is also custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated Israel's commitment to maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem," the statement said.


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Under the status quo agreement, only Muslims are allowed to pray at the al-Aqsa mosque, while Jews may visit but not pray – instead worshipping at the Western Wall. Right-wing Israeli groups have called for demolishing the mosque, Islam's third holiest site, to make space for the Jewish Third Temple.

The last round of US-led peace talks collapsed in 2014.

Jordan has witnessed mass protests over the past weeks in response to austerity measures, including a proposed tax hike.

Jordan and Israel were involved in a diplomatic row last year after a guard at the Israeli embassy in Jerusalem fatally shot two Jordanians.

The guard claimed that one of the victims attacked him while the other died in stray fire. The guard was given a hero's welcome in Israel, as he claimed diplomatic immunity that shielded him from prosecution in Jordan.

Original Article