Jordan: Eastern J'lem must be capital of Palestinian state

Jordanian King expresses 'concern' to VP Pence over Trump's J'lem declaration, warns it could lead to regional 'radicalization.'

Tal Polon ,

Pence meets with Abdullah
Pence meets with Abdullah

Jordanian leader King Abdullah expressed to US Vice President Mike Pence “concern” over President’s Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, warning that it could lead to “radicalization” in the region.

Pence is currently in Amman for discussions with the Jordanian King during the second leg of a three-country tour that began yesterday with a visit to Egypt and will continue tonight with a visit in Israel.

During his meeting with Pence, Abdullah said that he had "continuously voiced over the past year [his] concerns regarding the US decision on Jerusalem that does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian Israeli conflict," according to AFP.

"Jerusalem is key to Muslims and Christians as it is to Jews," he added. "It is key to peace in the region. And key to enabling Muslims to effectively fight some of the root causes of radicalization."

Abdullah told Pence that Jordan still supports the two-state solution, seeing it as “the only solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict, according to Channel 2. He reportedly emphasized to Pence that eastern Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state in any agreement reached by the sides.

On Saturday, Pence told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi that the United States would support a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinian Arabs if the two sides agreed to it, Reuters reported.

“We heard President Al-Sisi out,” Pence told reporters after the meeting, saying the Egyptian leader described his objection to Trump’s decision as a “disagreement between friends.”

Pence said he assured Sisi that the United States was committed to preserving the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem and had come to no final resolution on boundaries for the two parties.

“My perception was that he was encouraged by that message,” Pence said, according to Reuters.

The Egyptian presidency said in a statement that Sisi noted that only negotiations based on a two-state solution could bring an end to the conflict, adding that “Egypt would spare no effort to support this.”

Also on Saturday, Jordan’s Al-Rad newspaper reported that Israel had transferred 5 million dollars to the Jordanian government as compensation for the deaths of two Jordanians - one of whom was an attacking terrorist - killed in July 2017 in Amman by an Israeli embassy security guard who defended himself from attack, as well as for the death of a Jordanian terrorist who was shot to death after he attacked an IDF soldier at the Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and Israel in 2014.

According to the report, the families of the killed Jordanians received the money, as well as the Israeli government’s apologies.