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King meets Hamas chief, backs Palestinian reconciliation efforts

By JT - Jan 28,2013 - Last updated at Jan 28,2013

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday held talks with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mishaal, stressing his support for Palestinian reconciliation to strengthen the unity of the Palestinian people and enable them to regain their legitimate rights.

During the meeting, attended by HRH Prince Ali, the King said that the UN recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state is a major step that will help the Palestinian people regain their rights and set up an independent state on their national soil.

His Majesty highlighted his recent meetings with key regional and international parties involved in the peace process to push for a resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and break the current diplomatic stalemate between them, a Royal Court statement said.

He also asserted the Kingdom’s commitment to continue to provide all forms of assistance possible to help the Palestinian people overcome their difficult conditions.

Mishaal thanked the King for his efforts to support the Palestinian people’s steadfastness, commending the Jordanian military field hospital in Gaza and His Majesty’s support for the restoration of holy sites in Jerusalem.

He said Hamas is committed to all actions and steps that unify the Palestinian people and that it absolutely rejects any proposals for an alternative homeland.

In statements to the press following the meeting, Mishaal, who arrived in Amman late Sunday, said the aim of the visit was “to consult with the Jordanian leadership on all issues, especially the Palestinian issue”.

“There is a high degree of understanding and we are committed to more coordination with the Jordanian leadership,” he told reporters.

The main topic discussed in the meeting was the Palestinian issue and its future, especially after the Israeli and US elections, Mishaal noted.

Talks also covered efforts to seek Palestinian reconciliation and other regional issues, he added.

At the press conference, Mishaal also confirmed that Palestinian reconciliation was progressing steadily, highlighting the recent meetings in Cairo with the support of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

He said a timeframe has been set for the coming months to examine five files: the government, the Palestine Liberation Organisation, elections, public freedoms and community reconciliation.

The Hamas leader stressed that any talk of a confederation that includes Jordan and Palestine was rejected at this stage, stressing that “Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine”.

“Any discussion about relations between the Jordanian and Palestinian states should take place after the state of Palestine is established on the ground,” Mishaal noted, stressing that the two states would then agree on the type of relationship that serves the interests of Jordan and Palestine.

Monday’s meeting is the third between the King and Mishaal in less than a year and comes amid a gradual warming of ties between the Kingdom and Hamas.

Following Qatar-brokered mediation in early 2012, Jordan and Hamas held a series of talks over implementing a reconciliation agreement between the movement and its rival Palestinian faction, Fateh, with Amman allowing several senior Hamas leaders to relocate from Damascus to Jordan.

Also on Monday, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour met with Mishaal and discussed the latest regional developments and efforts to revive peace negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

During the meeting, Ensour reiterated Jordan’s support for the Palestinian people and their quest to establish an independent state on their national soil with East Jerusalem as its capital on the basis on the two-state solution.

Ensour and Mishaal also stressed the need to achieve reconciliation among Palestinian factions. 

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