Jordan king to US delegation: Two states the only solution to conflict
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Jordan king to US delegation: Two states the only solution to conflict

King Abdullah II stresses to the Jared Kushner-led team that negotiations need to be based on the traditional end goal

Eric Cortellessa covers American politics for The Times of Israel.

King Abdullah II, right, receives White House adviser, Jared Kushner, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Amman, Jordan. (The Royal Hashemite Court Twitter via AP)
King Abdullah II, right, receives White House adviser, Jared Kushner, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Amman, Jordan. (The Royal Hashemite Court Twitter via AP)

WASHINGTON — King Abdullah II of Jordan on Tuesday told a US peacemaking delegation the two-state solution is the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ahead of meetings later this week between the US officials and Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

During a Tuesday meeting with Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell, Jordan’s king said any attempt to renew negotiations must be based on an end goal of two states, according to a readout provided by the Jordanian Royal Court.

The meeting in Amman “focused on efforts to push forward the Palestinian-Israeli peace process and re-launch serious and effective negotiations between the two sides based on the two-state solution, which is the only way to end the conflict,” the statement said.

Those discussions came two days before the Kushner-led team was scheduled to meet separately with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The current US administration has not explicitly backed the two-state formula.

The Palestinians were demanding the US explicitly express its backing of the two-state solution before talks may resume.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Abbas’s Fatah party, said Wednesday they would be demanding a clear commitment from Kushner and Greenblatt to an independent Palestinian state.

“We hope that the American administration and the envoys of President Donald Trump that will meet tomorrow with President Mahmoud Abbas will announce the American administration’s adoption of the two-state solution to move the peace process forward,” he told AFP. “It is time for President Trump to pay serious attention to the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

During a joint press conference with Netanyahu in February, Trump insisted that he did not have any preference over how exactly to end the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

“I’m looking at two state and one state, and I like the one that both parties like,” he said.

After the Temple Mount tensions died down earlier this month, the US said it sensed an “opportunity” to advance Trump’s peace initiative, which he has billed a “top priority” of his administration.

Trump “believes that the restoration of calm and the stabilized situation in Jerusalem after the recent crisis on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif has created an opportunity to continue discussions and the pursuit of peace that began early in his administration,” a senior administration official told The Times of Israel at the time.

US president Donald Trump delivers his final speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem before his departure, on May 23, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
US president Donald Trump delivers his final speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem before his departure, on May 23, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Tensions mounted between Israelis and Palestinians last month after a July 14 terror attack in which three Arab Israelis shot dead two Israeli police officers with weapons they had smuggled onto the site. Israel responded by installing new security measures, including metal detectors and cameras.

That set off near-daily clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in and around the Old City, East Jerusalem and the West Bank and triggered a boycott by Muslim worshipers who threatened not to return to the site until all the security installations were removed.

Trump, after remaining silent for 10 days as the situation was unfolding, dispatched Greenblatt to the region to try and reduce tensions, while Kushner also worked from Washington to try and resolve the issue.

King Abdullah II ultimately thanked the US president for his role in helping the sides find a resolution.

AFP contributed to this report.

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