Jordan says no peace without Palestinian state

Cheryl Sanders
March 29, 2017

The Palestinian quest for independence also served as a showcase for Arab unity in a fractured region, where leaders find themselves on opposite sides of long-running conflicts, particularly Syria's six-year-old civil war.

Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit on Monday called on Arab leaders to play "a more active role" in finding a solution to the war, describing it as "the worst crisis in the region's recent history".

Trump later told Reuters in an interview he liked the concept of a two-state solution but stopped short of reasserting a US commitment to eventual Palestinian statehood, saying he would be "satisfied with whatever makes both parties happy".

Abdullah was joined by a number of leading Arab heads of state, including Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Egyptian President Abdul Fatah A-Sissi, who called for a two-state solution, saying it is the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Opening the summit, Jordan's King Abdullah said there would be no peace or stability in the Middle East without the creation of a Palestinian state.

A draft statement to be put to an Arab summit Wednesday opposes plans by President Donald Trump to move Washington's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and consider alternatives to a Palestinian state.

The many conflicts and flashpoints in the region were discussed by the two leaders, with focus on the Palestinian problem and the two-state solution as the only viable and sustainable way to settle it.

The conference venue is only a few km (miles) from the occupied West Bank where Israeli settlements are clearly visible.

Abbas initially feared he would be sidelined by the Trump administration, which early on embraced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the summit of the Arab League at the Dead Sea, Jordan, Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

"We meet in a hard Arab era dominated by crisis and conflicts that deprive our region of the security and stability they need to attain our people's rights", Safadi said in a meeting with fellow foreign ministers before the summit.

"[Greenblatt] had a lot of queries and we are answering them to complete the picture in their minds and speaking as Arabs in one language", Abbas said, adding he had told the envoy that Palestinians remained as firm as ever in their demand for an independent state.

Guterres said setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel is the only solution to the conflict.

The conditions involve establishing an independent Palestinian state within the borders from 1967, a full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories (including East Jerusalem) and a settlement regarding the issue of Palestinian refugees.

Other reports by iNewsToday