King Abdullah of Jordan 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In spite of the verbal mud slinging between Israelis and Palestinians this week,
Jordan’s King Abdullah told The Washington Post he viewed the renewed talks
between them in Amman as “little baby steps forward.”
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In an interview
published Tuesday, in advance of his meeting with US President Barack Obama,
Abdullah said he believed both parties had sought a way to get to
“There are a lot of people who look at these negotiations
negatively. My answer to that is: For them to at least try to talk to each other
is better than nothing. If you understand the region, you realize how important
that is,” he told the newspaper. “I am cautious about saying that I’m cautiously
optimistic,” Abdullah said when describing the three rounds of Israeli-
Palestinian talks that took place this month in Jordan.
In future talks,
Abdullah said, he believed the issue of borders should be solved before that of
“Once you’ve defined the issue of borders, then you’ve solved
the issue of settlements, and you can go straight into security talks,” he
In light of the US presidential elections, he said, countries in
the region like Jordan need to take the lead to help bring the Israelis and
Palestinians together to come to a final-status agreement.
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responsibility is on all of us to bring the parties close enough together so the
Americans can step in and finalize the deal.”
He warned Israel against
waiting too long to make peace with the Palestinians.
“We’ll cross the
line sooner or later where the two-state solution is no longer possible, at
which point the only solution is the one-state solution. And then, are we
talking about apartheid or democracy?” he said.
An Israeli official told
The Jerusalem Post
the best way to ensure a two-state solution is for the
Palestinians to remain at the negotiating table.
The Palestinians have
threatened to walk away by January 26 if Israel does not halt settlement
construction and Jewish building in east Jerusalem.
January 26 is the
initial date set by the Quartet by which a three-month preparatory period of
talks should end.
Israel has insisted that since the talks only started
this month, instead of the initial Quartet date of October, the end date for the
talks should be April 3.
An Israeli official said time is needed for true
progress to be reached during the talks.
“That is why we are urging the
Palestinians to continue the talks. We are ready for a discussion on all the
core issues and we hope the other side is not going to walk away,” the official
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