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‘King delivered powerful messages on Palestine to US’

By Dana Al Emam - Apr 08,2017 - Last updated at Apr 08,2017

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah’s recent summit meeting with US President Donald Trump has given momentum to the two-state solution as the only option for addressing the Palestinian issue and for enhancing peacemaking in the region, pundits agreed on Saturday.

In separate phone calls, they told The Jordan Times that the King’s statements reiterated Jordan’s and the Arab world’s keenness to find a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the region’s most pressing issue that has led to mounting instability in several Arab countries. 

During their meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral ties, as well as a number of regional and international issues, including terrorism, the Mideast peace process, and regional crises’ consequences, including Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Mohammed Al Tal, chief editor of Ad-Dustour daily, said the “historic” meeting was of “utmost importance”, as it was the first summit meeting between the two leaders inside the White House.

The Monarch “powerfully” brought issues of the Arab world to the US administration’s table, with special emphasis on the Palestinian issue and terrorism, Tal said.

“His Majesty has helped restore balance to the American administration’s perception of the Palestinian issue, while reiterating that there is no alternative to the two-state solution to settle the conflict,” he told The Jordan Times.

Tal underscored King Abdullah’s keenness to highlight injustices against the Palestinians as the root cause for all crises in the region.

For Oraib Rantawi, director of Al Quds Centre for Political Studies, His Majesty is the only Arab leader who always has the Palestinian issue on the agendas of his meetings with US leaders.

Despite Trump’s belief that he will be the president solving the long-running issues that his predecessors have not been able to resolve, his willingness to confront Israeli allies remains very much under question, said Rantawi.

He added it is unlikely that the current right-wing Israeli government would give up its plans to expand settlements, adding that pre-election polls indicated that the next Israeli government will be even more right leaning.

While the US administration has a “heavy” domestic agenda, it also has numerous other international issues to deal with, including the fight against terrorism, the crises in Iraq and with North Korea, the analyst added. 

Rantawi expressed concerns over the way the Trump administration will address the Palestinian-Israeli issue, noting that the pro-Israel US Cabinet might be giving false hope and empty promises to Arabs in order to gain their support in fighting its two biggest threats in the region: Iran and Daesh.

Nasser  Tahboub, a professor of international relations at the University of Jordan, said US interests will prompt the Trump administration to maintain good relations with Arab countries, since they comprise a substantial part of the world’s population and resources.

He added that the majority of Arabs and Palestinians perceive the US as the world’s number one supporter of Israel, particularly since Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to office.

Netanyahu has put peace efforts on hold, increasing the numbers of settlements in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, Tahboub said. He added that during the eight years of the Obama administration, the US focused on domestic issues, exacerbating the outlook of the Palestinian-Israeli issue. 

Tahboub noted that King Abdullah’s vision of finding a solution to the conflict that would guarantee coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis cannot be achieved without the support of the US as a mediator and important ally of Israel over the past 40 years.

 

“The Arab world’s Christians and Muslims are for building bridges with Israel that can bring about peace… They oppose violence and terror,”  Tahboub noted, adding that Arabs want to see the US, an advocate for human rights, as a partner in peacemaking in the region.

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