Jordan's Abdullah 'cautiously optimistic' on peace

On visit to US to update Obama on status of Amman talks, Jordanian monarch tells 'Washington Post' that Israelis, Palestinians taking "baby steps" toward direct negotiations.

January 17, 2012 07:59
2 minute read.
King Abdullah of Jordan

King Abdullah of Jordan 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Jordan's King Abdullah expressed cautious optimism after three rounds of talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Amman, saying that both sides were "looking for a way out" of the difficult positions they have entrenched themselves in.

The Jordanian monarch spoke to The Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday ahead of a meeting with US President Barack Obama, in which he was expected to update the US president on the status of the negotiations.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

PA skeptical as 3rd round of Amman talks begin
PA to take issue of settlement building to UNSC

"I am cautious about saying that I’m cautiously optimistic,” the Post quoted King Abdullah as saying.

“I do believe they want a way out, a way to get to negotiations,” Abdullah said. “We all know the positions in which they have entrenched themselves. However, the intent, I believe, is there — from both sides. It is little baby steps, right at the beginning," he stated.”

The Jordanian leader's comments came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas traded barbs in the media on Monday.

Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of breaking their pledge to keep the content of the talks in Amman confidential.

“There was a commitment made by the parties in Jordan that they would be very discreet about the negotiations,” Netanyahu told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee at the Knesset.

Instead, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has leaked information to the media, the prime minister said.

“He keeps talking, and talking and talking,” Netanyahu said.

At a press conference in London, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had equally harsh words to say about Netanyahu. During the three meetings in Amman between Erekat and the prime minister’s envoy Yitzhak Molcho, the Israelis had failed to put forward any proposal for the peace process, Abbas said.

“We hope that Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to submit some proposal to us. We do not care what type of proposal. Maybe we’ll agree to it, maybe we’ll not agree to it, but the main thing is that he should submit some kind of proposal to us,” Abbas said.

“Unfortunately until now – and this goes until yesterday – no such proposal has been submitted to the Palestinians,” he added.

Underneath the accusations that flew between the two leaders is a deep divide over the future of the talks.

The Palestinians have insisted that the talks should adhere to the timetable of January 26 set by the Quartet, unless Israel agrees to halt settlement activity and stop Jewish building in east Jerusalem.

Israel in turn has insisted that the three-month timetable set for talks does not end at the end of January. Since the talks only started this month instead of in October, Jerusalem says, their true end date is April 3.

“I hope that we can overcome this obstacle of January 26 so we can continue the negotiations,” Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Tovah Lazaroff and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN