Jordan’s king hopes Obama visit will kickstart peace process
Abdullah II says Israeli-Palestinian negotiations serve the interests of Washington and Amman
Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel.
Jordan’s monarch on Saturday expressed hope that US President Barak Obama’s Middle East visit this month will jumpstart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
King Abdullah II, speaking at a conference in the Jordanian capital, said that it was in Washington and Amman’s interest for there to be new momentum in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
“We are looking forward to welcoming President Obama in Jordan soon. And I hope to see real momentum in the peace process after his visit, a strategic national interest for both our countries,” AFP quoted the king telling Jordanian and American businessmen.
Obama is scheduled to make his first presidential visit to Israel on March 20, and will visit the West Bank and Jordan as well during his three-day stay.
Contrary to previous reports, however, Obama said he would not be bringing any peace plan or even a “general framework” with him on his trip.
Adbullah’s optimism contrasted sharply with statements made by Hamas Prime Minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh on Friday. Haniyeh said Obama’s visit would not bring the necessary breakthrough for the Palestinians, and that it focus on regional developments and renewal of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which he claimed would harm the resolution of internal Palestinian disagreements.