Jordanian king says efforts to safeguard Palestinians in Jerusalem need to be intensified

Erekat: Arab states should cut ties with any country that recognizes city as Israel’s capital or moves its embassy there

January 6, 2018 20:45
1 minute read.
Jordanian king says efforts to safeguard Palestinians in Jerusalem need to be intensified

Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

Jordanian King Abdullah on Saturday said efforts to safeguard Palestinians in Jerusalem and establish a Palestinian state should be intensified.

Abdullah made the comments during a meeting with Arab foreign ministers and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who convened in Amman on Saturday, to discuss President Donald Trump’s recent changes to US policy on Jerusalem, the official Jordanian news agency Petra reported.

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On December 6, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion a process to relocate the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, breaking with decades of American policy.

“His majesty affirmed the necessity of intensifying efforts and coordinating Arab positions to support the Palestinian brothers in preserving their historical and legal rights in Jerusalem as well as in their endeavors to establish an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Petra reported.

The foreign ministers Abdullah met with on Saturday included Egypt’s Samih al-Shukri, the United Arab Emirates’ Anwar Gargash, Saudi Arabia’s Adel al-Jubeir, Morocco’s Nasser Bourita and the Palestinian Authority’s Riyad al-Maliki.

The Jordanian monarch also said that the “issue of Jerusalem should be settled in the framework of a final solution and just and permanent peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, which is based on the two-state solution, international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”

Later this month, a larger group of Arab foreign ministers is slated to gather to discuss Trump’s decisions on Jerusalem.

On Friday in a televised interview, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Al Jazeera that the Palestinians will ask Arab states to cut ties with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or moves its embassy to the city.

While Arab states have condemned Trump for his moves on Jerusalem, they have not moved to sever ties with the American administration.

Many Arab states receive large amounts of American foreign aid and have shared economic and security interests with the US.

The Palestinians have said they cut ties with the US Consulate in Jerusalem, but have not completely severed ties with the Trump administration. Last week, they decided to send PLO Ambassador to the US Husam Zomlot back to Washington after earlier recalling him for consultations.

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