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One Year After Peace, Jordan Moves to End Boycott of Israel

The Jordanian Parliament has passed legislation that effectively ends Jordan’s participation in the Arab boycott of Israel.

The legislation, which legalizes trade and commercial ties with Israel, was approved by Jordan’s Senate on Monday by a vote of 30-3. The lower house gave its approval to the measure last week by a vote of 59-20.

The legislation permits business transactions with Israel, as well as the sale of Jordanian land to Israelis.

King Hussein is expected to endorse the legislation this week.

The bulk of the opposing votes in the lower house last week came from the fundamentalist Islamic Action party. A spokesman for the party said the legislation would pave the way for “Zionist infiltration” of Jordan and other Arab states.

Others who opposed the legislation argued that the Arab League had imposed the boycott of Israel, and that it should be the body to decide whether to lift it.

The legislation’s approval came one year after Israel and Jordan signed the Washington Declaration, ending the state of belligerency between the two countries and paving the way for the two countries’ peace treaty, signed last October.

Meanwhile, Israel and Jordan have announced a number of steps aimed at easing travel between the two countries.

Beginning in August, Jordanians will be able to request visas to visit Israel at the Israeli Embassy in Amman, rather than wait for the appropriate papers at the border crossing.

The steps were taken in the wake of the growing number of complaints about delays and overcrowding at the border crossings between the two countries.

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