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Jordan, EU stress ‘no economic proposal can solve Mideast conflict’

Safadi says Kingdom studying prospect of participation in US-led Bahrain conference

By JT - Jun 19,2019 - Last updated at Jun 19,2019

AMMAN — There are no alternatives to the two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said on Tuesday.

The minister and Mogherini stressed that no economic proposal can replace a prospective solution founded on the basis of the two-state solution, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. 

The officials’ remarks were made during a joint press conference that was held after they had co-chaired the 13th session of the Jordan-EU Association Council and following Safadi’s participation in the meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, attended by 24 foreign ministers of the bloc’s member countries. 

The press conference was held with the attendance of European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. 

Safadi highlighted that the US’ proposal to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, otherwise known as the “deal of the century”, will only be supported if it bears the potential to achieve peace through an end to the occupation, bring justice to the Palestinians through the fulfilment of their rights and sustain regional stability.

The Palestinian cause remains of the utmost priority, Safadi underscored, reaffirming that peace will not be achieved without the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

No economic proposal will replace the need to end the occupation, meet the Palestinians’ rights to freedom and statehood and settle all final-status issues, at the top of which is the issue of refugees, the minister explained.

He noted that any solution to the conflict must adhere to international legislation and must also guarantee Palestinian refugees’ right of return.

Safadi said that Jordan has received an invitation to the US-led Bahrain conference, which is scheduled to be held later this month to unveil the economic component of the US proposal to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“We are currently studying the prospect of participation. If we participate, it will be to reaffirm the Kingdom’s firm stance. If we don’t approve of something, we will simply say no. We have said no in the past and we will say no to anything that is out of sync with our values,” Safadi stated.

Jordan is monitoring the growing tensions in the region “with concern”, Safadi said, adding that the region cannot withstand any more crises.

He stressed the necessity of uniting efforts towards de-escalation and to sustain dialogue as a medium for peace. 

The minister noted that Jordan and Europe will continue to cooperate in their pursuit of regional peace and stability. 

For her part, Mogherini affirmed the EU’s political and financial support to UNRWA and expressed gratitude for the Kingdom’s role in rallying support to the agency. 

“We have held constructive discussions on the matters of the region, with a focus on the peace process.”

She added: “There is no better solution than the two-state solution, in which Palestine and Israel share Jerusalem as their capital.”

The EU official thanked His Majesty King Abdullah, as the custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites, and reiterated Europe’s support to him in shouldering this responsibility. 

She underlined that UNRWA’s efforts are a key part of achieving regional peace and stability, pointing to the importance of finding a solution to the Syrian crisis in accordance with UN Resolution 2254.

For his part, Hahn stressed the importance of what Jordan and the EU have achieved as a result of their strategic partnership. 

He presented the outcomes of Jordan-EU cooperation in regards to the economy, development, education and refugee aid, pointing to his upcoming visit to Jordan to further discuss cooperation and support to the Kingdom’s economic reform programme.

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