King holds talks with Palestinian President

07 December 2017

His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday reaffirmed Jordan’s full support for the Palestinians in their efforts to preserve their historical and legal rights in Jerusalem, and to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

During talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Basman Palace, attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, the two sides affirmed that US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the United States embassy there is in violation of international law and terms of reference.

King Abdullah called for intensifying Arab, Muslim, and international efforts to safeguard the rights of Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims in Jerusalem, which is the key to regional peace and stability.

His Majesty also called for building on the international rejection of the US decision to prevent any further unilateral steps by other countries.

The King and President Abbas stressed the importance of coordinating the Arab position on this issue and uniting efforts to reach out to the international community on the serious implications of the US decision on regional security and stability, as well as peace efforts.

His Majesty said the international community must shoulder its responsibility and take firm positions in support of peace and resolving the Palestinian issue.

The King emphasised that the issue of Jerusalem must be settled within the framework of a comprehensive solution that leads to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel.

His Majesty and President Abbas asserted that any measures that affect the legal and historical status of Jerusalem are null, and will fuel more tension and violence in the region and beyond.

The two leaders stressed the centrality of the Palestinian cause in the region, noting that the US administration’s decision will have serious implications and provoke Muslims and Christians.

The King said that, in his communications with a number of world leaders, he reaffirmed the importance of supporting the Palestinian president and the Palestinian Authority in the face of any Israeli attempts to change the status quo in Jerusalem, and enabling them to establish an independent Palestinian state based on the two-state solution, the Arab Peace Initiative, and international terms of reference.

President Abbas briefed His Majesty on the calls he has made to a number of world leaders on the threats to Jerusalem and the ramifications of the US decision on the future of the peace process, as well as on regional and global security and stability.

He also expressed the Palestinian people’s appreciation of Jordan’s major efforts, led by the King, to support them and defend their legitimate rights to an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, particularly at this delicate phase.

His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammed, chief adviser for religious and cultural affairs and personal envoy to His Majesty, Prime Minister Hani Mulki, Royal Hashemite Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan attended the talks.

On the Palestinian side, Palestine Liberation Organisation Secretary General Saeb Erekat, Fatah central committee member and head of civil affairs Hussein Sheikh, General Intelligence Service Director Majid Faraj, and Palestinian Ambassador to Jordan Atallah Kheiri were in attendance.

In remarks to the press after the talks, President Abbas said Jordanian-Palestinian coordination is ongoing, because the two sides share the same fate, future, and concerns when it comes to the Palestinian cause.

He said the two sides agree on the importance of a two-state solution that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In response to the US President’s decision on Jerusalem, President Abbas said there are many steps that can be taken through the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s upcoming emergency summit in Istanbul, stressing the need to discuss all pertinent issues.

President Trump’s decision is unequivocally rejected, the Palestinian President said, noting that the United States, by taking this decision, has removed itself from political efforts in the Middle East.

President Abbas said he has been in contact with officials around the world, and has received positive response from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Vatican, and elsewhere, noting the importance of the international public opinion in this regard.

The international rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem sends an important message to Trump that this step is absolutely unacceptable.