|Mashaal and Abdullah 521.(Photo by: YOUSEF ALLAN / REUTERS)|
Abdullah, Mashaal discuss stalled peace process
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH AND ARIEL BEN SOLOMON
Jordan's king briefs Hamas chief on efforts to implement two-state solution; both voice opposition to confederation.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal met in Amman on Monday with Jordanian King Abdullah
to discuss efforts to revive the stalled peace process and end the Fatah-Hamas
The meeting came amid reports that Jordan has asked Hamas to use
its relations with the powerful Muslim Brotherhood organization to avoid chaos
and anarchy in the kingdom.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been spearheading
protests calling for major reforms and an end to corruption in
Abdullah told Mashaal that Jordan supports efforts to achieve
reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, a Jordanian government official said
after the meeting.
The monarch also hailed the recent United Nations
General Assembly vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinians’ status to
non-member observer as a “major step toward restoring the rights of the
Palestinian people, especially the establishment of an independent Palestinian
state on their homeland,” the official said.
Abdullah, according to the
official, also briefed the Hamas leader on his recent efforts to revive the
stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, so that the
two sides could start moving toward the implementation of the two-state
Mashaal, for his part, praised Jordan’s role in providing the
Palestinians with humanitarian and medical aid, according to a statement
published in the official Jordanian media.
Mashaal and other Hamas
leaders were expelled from Jordan and stripped of their Jordanian citizenship
more than a decade ago. But over the past 18 months, Jordan has moved toward
restoring its relations with Hamas, allowing Mashaal and some of his top aides
to visit the kingdom on at least three occasions.
between Jordan and Hamas came after the Islamist movement pledged to refrain
from meddling in the kingdom’s internal affairs.
Hamas has also reassured
Amman that it does not support calls to replace Jordan with a Palestinian
Following Monday’s meeting, Mashaal reiterated Hamas’s opposition
to the idea of creating a Palestinian state in Jordan. He also expressed
opposition to talk about a confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan,
saying such an idea should be discussed only after the establishment of a
The meeting between the two leaders comes after a
recent conflict in words between Abdullah and Hamas last week.
the Jordanian king gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, during which he said that Hamas appeared to be ready to soften
their position and live peacefully next to Israel, according to a report on the
Albawaba website. Abdullah also stated that Hamas was becoming “a bit more
realistic” and was open to dialogue with Israel.
The Albawaba report
stated that “Jordan’s monarch was soon made to eat his words when Hamas shot
down his hopeful claims point blank,” as Hamas spokesman Yahya Moussa al-Ebadsh
stated on the website, Palestine Today, that its relationship with Israel would
“The only relationship with this enemy is the resistance,” he