Jordan to Israel: Stick to road map

Jordanian PM urges gov't to refrain from further unilateral decisions.

al bakhit portrait298.88 (photo credit: AP)
al bakhit portrait298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Jordan's prime minister urged Israel on Monday to stick with the US-backed road map peace plan with the Palestinians and refrain from unilateral decisions that would prejudice final status negotiations. Marouf al-Bakhit was responding to comments last week by Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who said Israel would determine its border with the West Bank if peace talks do not resume, and then build a wall and move all settlers to the Israeli side. "During the recent Israeli election campaign, there were some statements that contradict and conflict with the references of the peace process which had been agreed upon by the international community supported by the Quartet and the world," al-Bakhit told reporters Monday. The road map was devised by the United States and its partners - Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - known as the Quartet. The plan envisions an end to violence followed by Palestinian statehood. "While we recognize the sensitivity of the current situation, we stress the need to comply with the road map and all the references of the peace process which assert the importance of achieving a settlement through negotiations and refrain from undertaking any action that would prejudice the outcome of these negotiations," he said. Palestinian officials have also rejected Olmert's plan, insisting that final borders between Israel and a Palestinian state must be determined by negotiations. Jordan, like many other Arab countries, welcomed Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last September, but urged the government to avoid taking further unilateral actions. The moderate Arab nation maintains close ties with Israel under a peace treaty signed in 1994. The kingdom has been concerned over the landslide victory of Hamas, which is trying form a Palestinian Cabinet and has said it will review all previous Palestinian agreements with Israel.