Seven (7) year ‘false covenant of peace and security’: King of Jordan: I believe the ‘Deal of the Century’ will be released soon
Jerusalem Post. January 13, 2020
Israeli annexation plans and its absence of a government are harming Jordan’s relations with the Jewish state, King Abdullah told France 24 in an interview published on Monday.
Regarding the possibility that US President Donald Trump’s peace plan would soon be unveiled, he told the French television station on the eve of a visit this week to Brussels, Strasbourg and Paris: “We keep hearing that sometime soon the plan would be presented.”
Abdullah plans to hold talks with the Europeans on Iran, Iraq, ISIS, Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While in Strasbourg, he will deliver a special address to the European Parliament on Wednesday.
Jordan and the European Union believe the resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. The Trump administration has hinted that its plan is unlikely to include this scenario and has been quiet with regard to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election pledges to annex West Bank settlements, beginning with the Jordan Valley.
Both the EU and Jordan have opposed that move, with Abdullah warning it would harm ties with Israel. They have already been weakened by the prolonged election cycle in Israel, which has lasted for over a year.
“There is a certain rhetoric
coming out of Israel because of the election politics, which is creating tremendous concern to all of us in the region,” Abdullah said. “They [Israel] are moving way off into a direction that is completely uncharted territory for all of us.”
The annexation pledges “can only create more instability and miscommunication,” he said.
Dialogue between Israel and Jordan has been “on pause” for two years, Abdullah said. During that time, “there has been no bilateral communications or movement.”
Israel and Jordan have had diplomatic ties since the two countries signed a peace deal in 1994, but the friendship has frayed in the last few years.
Abdullah told France 24 that ties between his country and Israel were important. But the annexation talk, he said, “creates a lot of doubt in many of us on where certain Israeli politicians going” and could have a negative impact on the two countries.
Jordan is waiting to see the result of the election so that it can assess how best to move forward on the Israeli-Jordanian tract, Abdullah said, adding that he hopes a new Israeli government would be formed sooner rather than later.
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, frozen since 2014, must be resumed, Abdullah said.
“Jordan is strategically committed to the ‘peace’ between Jordan and Israel,” he said. “That is a major element of ‘stability- in the region.”
Abdullah said he wants to be hopeful about the Trump administration’s plan and has spoken with Trump about it “numerous times.”
The US president “understands what is needed to bring Israelis and Palestinians together,” Abdullah said.
“We are waiting for the plan to be unveiled by the [Trump] team,” he said. “That has been a gray area for all of us, because unless we know what the plan is,” it is difficult to know what role Jordan and the regional countries can play.
Once the plan is unveiled, Jordan will do its best to take a positive stance, Abdullah said.
“Our job then is to look at the glass as half full,” he said, and to think of “How do we build on the plan in such a way that we bring the Israelis and Palestinians together?”
“It is difficult for us to make decisions on the plan when we really do not know what it is. That is not a problem just for Jordan but for our European friends, and we will be discussing this in Europe this week,” Abdullah said.