Jordan king to US: Failure to resolve Palestinian issue will fuel violence

Meeting with Pence and McMaster, Abdullah II calls for ‘intensifying efforts’ to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

King Abdullah II of Jordan meets with US Vice President Mike Pence in Washington, DC, on November 27, 2017 (Jordanian Royal Court)
King Abdullah II of Jordan meets with US Vice President Mike Pence in Washington, DC, on November 27, 2017 (Jordanian Royal Court)

WASHINGTON — King Abdullah II of Jordan warned members of the Trump administration on Monday that failure to resolve the Palestinian issue will spur violent unrest in the Middle East.

His comments came as a White House delegation tasked with resolving Israeli-Palestinian peace is preparing to ramp up its attempts to renew negotiations between the sides.

In the nation’s capital this week, the Jordanian king met separately with Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

During his meeting with Pence, he called for “intensifying efforts to relaunch serious and effective negotiations based on the two-state solution,” according to a readout of the conversation provided by the Jordanian Royal Court.

The Trump administration, which has made brokering a peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians a top priority, has not followed the same diplomatic path as the last three successive American presidents by pushing for two states.

“I’m looking at two state and one state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said at a joint White House press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last February, when the Israeli premier visited Washington.

The New York Times reported this month that Trump’s team is preparing to propose its peace plan in early 2018. It is not yet clear, however, whether that plan will incorporate or demand the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Nevertheless, Abdullah told McMaster that regional tensions will escalate dramatically if the US administration’s efforts fall short.

“The King stressed that failure to reach a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause will fuel further extremism and violence in the Middle East,” the readout said.

Abdullah also met with US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Trump’s senior adviser (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner, who is leading Trump’s peace push, and members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

No information was provided about those separate meetings.

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