Arab leaders: We can resume peace talks despite Jerusalem controversy

“Renewing the negotiations is dependent on goodwill expressed by both parties,” said King Abdullah of Jordan.

By GIDEON KOUTS / MAARIV
January 24, 2018 15:11
1 minute read.
Jordan's King Abdullah speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Jordan's King Abdullah speaks during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (photo credit: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN)

 
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Arab leaders in Davos expressed optimism Wednesday about the possibility of renewing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, despite controversy over the recent US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

King Abdullah II of Jordan told Maariv during the Davos conference that, following US President Donald Trump's announcement and intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, he would rather see the glass half full and focus on relations with Israel and how these ties can promote peace.

The king said that “renewing the negotiations is dependent on goodwill expressed by both parties.” He also added that he would “prefer to remain optimistic.”

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir told Maariv that “[we] must wait for the American initiative,” and that “if it will have components that both parties can accept, it will be possible to renew negotiations despite the current crisis surrounding the Trump statement.”

At the same time, on the sidelines of the conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Swiss President Alain Berset and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

On Wednesday afternoon Netanyahu is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and in the evening will hold a meeting with French President Emanuel Macron.

Another meeting is scheduled with the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame. Their meeting is likely to deal with Israel's intention to deport illegal migrant workers to Rwanda and the controversy surrounding the issue.

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