Jordan’s King tells Abbas, Sissi ‘no regional stability without a two-state solution’

CAIRO (Agencies): Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Thursday, as the three aim to prepare and coordinate their stance on Israel ahead of the UN General Assembly slated to take place later this month.

During the tripartite meeting, Jordan’s King Abdullah said that his country would continue protecting the status quo in Jeru-salem and at Al-Aqsa Mos-que, or the Temple Mount. He added that Jordan would safeguard Muslim and Christian holy sites there.

“The meeting today emphasizes Jordan’s interest in supporting every Palestinian measure, in order to renew the peace process based on international agreements and the two-state solution,” he said, “The current situation cannot continue, and there will not be stability in the region until the two-state solution is achieved.”

The Egyptian president’s spokesperson said that during the meeting, Sissi reiterated Egypt’s support for the establishment of a Palestinian state, but that that day would not come until the factions in Palestinian society reconcile. He also discussed the importance of efforts to resume negotiations with the Israelis and calming tensions in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas said that Israel is continuing its daily violations in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, mainly thro-ugh settler aggression. Ac-cording to the Palestinian president, the Israeli occupation has become a monstrous reality, and is implementing a program that is based on apartheid.

He went on to say that the Palestinians have never turned their backs on international initiatives and efforts for peace. They are once again, he said, preparing the ground and taking confidence-building measures in order to achieve calm in the Palestinian territories. “We are extending a hand for sustainable peace and justice in accordance with decisions by the international community and the Quartet. We welcome the involvement of Egypt and Jordan and their mobilization to end the occupation,” Abbas said.

Regarding the discord among Palestinian factions, Abbas said that all of the groups must recognize the international community’s decisions, and that it would lay the groundwork of for a unity government that would help rebuild the Gaza Strip and advance presidential and parliamentary elections. The Israeli government did not officially say whether it would allow votes to be held there, but Palestinian political sources said that Abbas was interested in the postponement due to concern that his Fatah party would not secure the electoral victory that it is seeking.

Ahead of the meeting, senior Palestinian Authority officials said the plan is to present the United States with a Palestinian position on future contact with Israel that is backed by Egypt and Jordan. The PA leadership admits, however, that it does not expect the United States to pressure Israel at this stage with respect to the Palestinian issue.

“The Americans have conveyed that there is no intention to exert pressure or initiate any move that could create obstacles for the Israeli government on the eve of the passage of the budget,” said one source in the Palestinian leadership. Nevertheless, senior PA officials say that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s renouncement of the diplomatic process does not mean that it is impossible to advance confidence-building economic moves with the U.S. administration, with Egyptian and Jordanian involvement.

The working assumption at the political level in Ramallah is that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration sees the Palestinian-Israeli arena as an important field in which progress may be made, however limited. According to these sources, one of the issues at stake is obtaining increased economic support for the PA from Arab states, with an emphasis on the Persian Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia.

A senior PA official says that the Trump administration had put massive pressure on Arab states to stop direct economic aid to the PA as long as it rejected the Deal of the Century. According to him, although that pressure fell away when the administration changed hands, Washington has not yet sent a clear message to these countries asking them to support the PA again. Now, they will be trying to promote a new concept: it is not only asking the United States to ask Arab countries to support the Palestinian Authority, but to make it clear to them that ties with Washington will depend on stabilizing the Palestinian Authority.

At the same time, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah rejects the criticism lobbed at it by Hamas and other Palestinian circles regarding this week’s meeting between Abbas and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. The PA asserts that the agreed upon concessions, including the unification of Palestinian families and the receipt of a 500 million shekels ($156 million) loan, was not tantamount to a cession of the PA’s diplomatic position.

 

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Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian leader Abbas meet, hope Biden revives peace process

AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan’s King Abdullah on Sunday met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and both leaders set high hopes that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will revive peace talks over a two-state solution to the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict, officials said.

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Report: Netanyahu took part in effort with US, Saudi Arabia to pressure Jordan

Washington Post says Israeli intelligence agencies told King Abdullah II they weren’t involved in alleged plot against him, appeared to suggest the PM was to blame

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was involved in efforts by the United States and Saudi Arabia to pressure Jordan’s King Abdullah II as part of the Trump administration’s promotion of its Middle East peace plan, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

The report described the efforts as having challenged Abdullah’s domestic political standing in recent years, culminating in the exposure in April of an alleged plot to “destabilize” Jordan that ensnared the king’s half-brother Prince Hamza and former senior officials Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid.

Much of the pressure reportedly concerned Jerusalem, where Abdullah is recognized as the custodian of the Temple Mount and other Muslim sites in the Old City, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War. Israel recognized the Jordanian monarchy’s status as custodian in the 1994 peace agreement between the countries.

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Palestinians, Jordan accuse Israel of ‘Judaizing’ Western Wall Plaza

The PA Foreign Ministry called on the United Nations Security Council to “halt the crimes of the Israeli occupation forces against al-Aqsa Mosque.”

A general view of Jerusalem’s Old City shows the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, in the foreground as the Dome of the Rock, located on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, is seen in the background.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)

The Palestinians and Jordan have accused Israel of seeking to “Judaize” the Western Wall Plaza because of renovation work that is being carried out there.

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Referring to the renovations as “excavations,” the Palestinians and Jordan called for an immediate cessation of the work at the site.

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Egypt, Germany, France, Jordan meet on reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

European foreign ministers sit down in Cairo ahead of Biden taking office, seeking to build on ‘positive regional context’ of Israel’s normalization deals with Arab states

From left to right, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, takes a photo with his cellphone of journalists, during a meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, ahead of a press conference at Tahrir Palace, in Cairo, Egypt, January 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Egypt on Monday hosted the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Jordan to discuss ways to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, a week before US President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

In Cairo, the country’s Foreign Ministry said the aim of the meeting was to urge the Palestinians and Israelis to negotiate a “just and comprehensive political settlement” on the basis of achieving a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on territory Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War.

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When Israel and Arab nations unite, world should take note, says UN ambassador

 Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan reflected on 2020 and how “Israel’s future looks brighter than ever” in his address on Sunday night at the Zionist Organization of America’s Virtual Superstar Gala.

Erdan, also Israel’s incoming ambassador to the United States, received the ZOA’s Woo KaiSheng Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Diplomacy. In his acceptance speech, he said that while this past year “supplied a fair amount of hate, it also delivered a fair amount of peace.”

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