It has been 20 years since Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan, a relationship that has been tested and challenged, but has endured and even strengthened.

The agreement covered a broad range of issues: Settling diplomatic relations between the two countries and providing for cooperation over intelligence and security, trade, tourism and water.

It also recognised Jordan's role in Jerusalem, and contained an agreement to work together over the rights of Palestinian refugees.

The relationship has taken on an added significance as both countries face up to the rise of armed groups across the Middle East.

Nevertheless, the peace deal with Israel remains controversial in Jordan, where over half the population is Palestinian.

Jordan's leader King Abdullah II, said: "Today, we have both Islamic and Zionist extremism. ... If Jordan and other Islamic countries are fighting extremism within Islam, and the Israelis are slaughtering our children in Gaza and Jerusalem every five minutes, then we have a problem."

So is the peace deal a must-have, mutual strategic partnership? Or a strained relationship fraught with strings and restrictions?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Omar Ashour - senior lecturer in Security Studies and Middle East politics at the University of Exeter, UK.

Yossi Beilin - former Israeli minister and one of the architects of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians.

Dureid Mahasneh - political analyst and a member of Jordan's peace-negotiating team with Israel.

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Source: Al Jazeera