US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Jordan “within days” to continue
efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Jordanian Foreign Minister
Nassar Judeh said in Ramallah on Sunday following talks with Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
AFP quoted Judeh at a joint press
commerce with PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki as saying that “Kerry has been in
Jordan three times already and he will be back for a fourth visit within
Judeh said his own visit to Ramallah was part of the “major effort
by the Americans” to restart the negotiations. He also said the US was serious
about ensuring Palestinian rights within the framework of a two-state
Judeh gave Abbas a letter from King Abdullah II concerning the
latest developments in the diplomatic process, and said his visit was part of
“coordination” between Jordan and the PA.
The Jordanian minister told
reporters that the kingdom was holding intensive contacts with several countries
to support the efforts of the Palestinian leadership.
said Jerusalem welcomed Jordanian participation in the diplomatic process. “We
want them involved,” one government official said. “We think they have a
positive influence. We welcomed them in the past, and continue to welcome their
reported on Friday that the US
administration was promoting a formula for the Jordan Valley that would involve
Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian control of the strategic area along the
While Israel is demanding that it retain security control
of the Jordan Valley in any agreement, especially in light of the regional
uncertainty, the Palestinians are demanding full control of the area.
chief negotiator Saeb Erekat denied talk about joint Israeli-Jordanian control
over the region.
The Jordan Valley “is a Palestinian-Jordanian border and
Israel has nothing to do with it,” Erekat said. He added that the Palestinians
were opposed to any Israeli presence in the Jordan valley.
diplomatic officials would not relate to the report.
facing increased pressure from the US administration to resume negotiations
without preconditions, reiterated to Judeh his demand that Israel halt
settlement construction, release Palestinian prisoners and accept the pre-1967
lines as the basis for a two-state solution.
A PA official said that
Jordan had offered to host “exploratory” talks between the PA and Israel in
Amman. The official said that Abbas was opposed to the idea “because such talks
have not achieved anything in the past.”
According to the official, the
“Palestinian street” would turn against Abbas and the PA leadership if they
agreed to return to the negotiating table unconditionally.
that both the Palestinians and Jordanians were working toward making Kerry’s
Erekat said that Kerry’s current efforts were not
open-ended. He denied that Kerry was trying to arrange a meeting between Israeli
and Palestinian negotiators in Washington next week.