Jordan’s King Abdullah II has announced that his country will be cancelling part of its 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
The king said in a tweet on Sunday that Jordan will be pulling out of two annexes from the peace agreement allowing Israel to lease the areas of Baqoura and Ghumar.
King Abdullah said that the decision was made to protect Jordanian interests and “do whatever is necessary for Jordan & Jordanians,” and that the two areas “were at the top of our priorities.”
Under the 1994 peace treaty, Israel was allowed private land ownership rights and property interests in the two areas for 25 years. The lease expires next year.
Article 2 of the agreement stipulates that either party can provide a one-year notice of termination.
The decision comes a few days after Jordanians held demonstrations in Amman demanding that the territories be returned to Jordan and remain under its sovereignty.
Protesters have also called for the cancellation of the peace treaty with Israel altogether and the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from their country.
ّIsraeli PM Benajmen Netanyahu, in public remarks reported by Reuters following the decision, said Israel "will enter negotiations with Jordan on the possibility of extending the current arrangement".