Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Jordanian King Abdullah on Thursday to discuss US President Donald Trump’s changes to American policy on Jerusalem.
On Wednesday, in a speech at the White House, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated a process to relocate the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, breaking with decades of American policy on the city.
However, the American president stated he was not taking a position on the final status of Jerusalem, which he said Israel and the Palestinians would decide in future peace talks.
“[Abbas] informed the Jordanian monarch of the latest developments regarding Jerusalem, the dangers facing it... the future mechanism to protect the holy city and support our people there,” the official PA news site Wafa said in a report, without elaborating.
On Wednesday evening, Abbas condemned Trump’s decisions in televised remarks, saying that they “embody a declaration of the United States’ withdrawal from undertaking the role” of an interlocutor in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians hope the capital of a future Palestinian state will be in east Jerusalem. According to Palestinian officials, the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and starting the process to relocate its embassy there, are equivalent to siding with Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem.
Abdullah said Jordan “completely supports the Palestinian brothers in preserving their historic and legal rights in Jerusalem and their efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” the official Jordanian news agency Petra reported.
Jordan is considered as the guardian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, according to both Arab and Israeli understanding.
During their meeting, Abbas and Abdullah were joined by Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein.
Jordan is slated to host a meeting of Arab League on the level of foreign minister on Saturday to “coordinate Arab and Islamic stances” toward Trump’s decisions, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Wednesday.
Abbas also spoke to Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun and former president Michel Suleiman on Thursday about Trump’s moves on Jerusalem.