Jordan to Return Ambassador to Israel

AMMAN (Reuters) -

Jordan will return its ambassador to Israel, the government said on Monday, three months after withdrawing the envoy in protest at Israeli restrictions on access to Har Habayis.

For the first time since signing a peace treaty in 1994, Jordan announced in November it was pulling its envoy out of Israel following growing tensions over access to the Al Aqsa mosque.

Government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said that since then, Israel had taken significant steps to ease the friction, and was allowing many more Muslims to visit the site.

Israel, which had imposed the restrictions for security reasons in the wake of terrorist attacks in the capital and riots on Har Habayis, welcomed the move.

“This is an important decision that reflects the shared interests of Israel and Jordan, chief among them being stability, security and peace,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Office said in a statement.

Momani said the ambassador would be returning to Israel later on Monday.

“The message was delivered and reached the Israelis and on this basis we have asked our ambassador to go back to his work in the embassy this evening,” Momani said.