Jordan: Palestinian state, then alliance

Abdullah to EU: Confederation not an option until independence established.

June 11, 2007 20:47
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Jordan's King Abdullah II told European Union envoys the issue of forming a confederation with the Palestinians would not be raised until the establishment of an independent state. "The concept of Jordanian-Palestinian confederation or federation is not in our dictionary, and we won't tackle this issue for the time being," Abdullah said in remarks carried by the official Petra news agency. Jordan, under a 1950 union agreement, administered the West Bank and traditionally Arab east Jerusalem until Israel took over the territories in the 1967 Six Day War. Abdullah's father, the late King Hussein, then severed legal and administrative links with the West Bank in 1988, virtually revoking the union agreement. But Hussein also called for a plan to form a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation once the Palestinians had an independent state. Abdullah, who became king in 1999, has pledged to follow through on Hussein's plan. The Jordanian government has repeatedly expressed its concern that a confederation before a final settlement could give credence to Israeli hard-liners who have urged making Jordan home for the 2.5 million Arab residents of the West Bank.

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