JERUSALEM (May. 13)
Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan has resigned his post, complaining that he was never informed about a secret meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Hussein last week.
Oded Eran, who became Israel’s second ambassador to Amman only last week, said he learned of the meeting through the media.
The meeting in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba had been hastily arranged to resolve a dispute between the countries over water allocation.
“I have no intention to be a censor or an obstacle to meetings, but there is a need to brief the embassy on actions being taken,” Eran’s letter of resignation said.
The resignation appeared to be part of ongoing friction between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry over running foreign policy.
However, Foreign Minister David Levy stressed that the secrecy surrounding the Netanyahu-Hussein meeting was not an attempt to circumvent the embassy.
“The prime minister informed me of his plans an hour before he departed for Aqaba,” Levy told Israel Radio. “He requested that in order to prevent any mishaps, I maintain the meeting’s secrecy.
Levy said he hoped to convince Eran to retract his resignation.
Despite Levy’s assurances and similar statements from the Prime Minister’s Office, Israel’s former ambassador to Jordan, Shimon Shamir, said his successor’s experience was indicative of the government’s mode of behavior.
Shamir told Israel Radio that during his own tenure, the prime minister’s senior aide, Dore Gold, was sent to Amman for talks with the Jordanian prime minister, a meeting he was informed of only after the fact.