The future border between a Palestinian state and Jordan will extend from the Dead Sea through the Jordan Valley and all the way up to Beit She’an, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Sunday.
“This is a Palestinian-Jordanian border, and that’s how it will remain,” he said. “Frankly Israel won’t be present between us and Jordan.”
Addressing a graduation ceremony of Al-Istiklal (Independence) University in Jericho, Abbas said the Palestinians would be responsible for security on the borders of their state.
However, he did not rule out the possibility that international troops would be deployed to supervise any agreement with Israel in a final deal.
Abbas said the PA leadership was “serious” in its effort to reach a just and ever-lasting solution that would end the conflict with Israel.
Referring to the current peace talks, Abbas said, “We are working with the US administration and the other members of the Quartet [the UN, the EU and Russia] to make the peace process succeed.”
Abbas said the PA would “continue to display good intentions until the end; the timeline is known – from six to nine months. If there are good and peaceful intentions, then we are ready for peace.”
One government official, who refused to go into the content of the negotiations, responded to Abbas’s comments about the Jordan Valley by saying that “if there is going to be a peace agreement, the Palestinians will have to engage seriously on Israel’s security concerns.”
According to the official, “the whole idea that Israel will pull out and hope for the best is not a serious option. If the Palestinians want to see an independent state, they have to be able to deal seriously with Israel’s security concerns. If they run away from this issue, they will be pushing away the chance of the deal and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.”
The official, abiding by Israel’s policy of not revealing anything at all about the ongoing negotiations – including when and where they are taking place – would not confirm an AFP report citing Palestinian officials as saying that another round of negotiations took place Monday in Jerusalem.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a statement he made Sunday alongside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after their meeting in Jerusalem, said all of the parties to the talks had agreed not to discuss the details publicly.
“We are convinced that the best way to work through the difficult choices that have to be made is to do so privately, with confidence that everyone will respect that process,” he said.
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