Following absence of four years: New Jordanian ambassador arrives in Israel
Jordan's new ambassador to Israel Ma'aruf al-Bakhit arrived in Israel Sunday morning, more than four years after Jordan returned its previous ambassador home. The decision to resend an ambassador from Jordan - as well as from Egypt - was announced earlier this month during the Sharm al-Sheikh summit.
According to media reports, in wake of the ambassador's return to Israel, Amman expects Jordanian prisoners to be freed from Israeli jails.
A retired Maj.-Gen., Ma'aruf al-Bakhit has extensive experience negotiating with Israelis, both in his former capacity as a high-ranking officer coordinating bilateral-security arrangements and as a diplomat involved in second-track political negotiations.
Al-Bakhit is a former director of research and development of the Jordanian armed forces and has been serving in the Foreign Ministry for almost three years. One of his positions was general coordinator of Jordan's peace process teams.
Al-Bakhit holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Kings College in London and was vice president of Mutah University in Jordan. Since 2002, he was Jordan's ambassador to Turkey.