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Jordan scraps Baqura, Ghamr annexes of 1994 peace treaty with Israel

Monday October 22, 2018 7:49 PM, Agencies

Jordan Israel 1994 Peace Treaty

[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Jordan in January 2014 (Kobi Gideon / GPO/FLASH90/ File)]

Amman: Jordan on Sunday informed Israel of its decision to cancel annexes of Baqura and Ghamr areas from the peace treaty signed between them on 26 October 1994.

Jordan news agency Petra reported that following the directives of King Abdullah II, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry handed over two memos to Israel's Foreign Ministry, in which it informed the Israeli government of the Kingdom's decision to cancel Annexes of Baqura and Ghamr areas from the peace treaty.

The Ministry said, in a statement, that it had handed over the memos to the Israeli government in accordance with the provisions of annexes 1/b and 1/c, which stipulate in Article 6, that the annexes remain into force for a 25-year period once the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty takes effect.

The two areas of Baqura and Ghamr returned to Jordanian sovereignty under the peace treaty, and arrangements were made in the two annexes of the treaty.

As part of the agreement, Israel leased about 405 hectares of agricultural land in the southern sector of its border with Jordan called al-Ghumar, as well as the small al-Baqura area near the confluence of Jordan and Yarmouk rivers.

The areas are currently regulated through a "special regime" in the peace treaty where Israel recognises Jordanian sovereignty with Israeli private land ownership.

The territories - water-rich farmlands currently cultivated by Israeli farmers, kept in Israeli hands for 25 years, with a 12-month notice period needed to prevent an automatic extension. The deadline for renewing the leases is Thursday, October 25.

Following the King Abdullah's announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would negotiate with Jordan an extension of the leases, which expire next year.

"We will enter into negotiations with [Jordan] to option an extension of the existing lease agreement," Israeli media quoted him as saying.

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