Jordan's King to Abbas: Palestinian issue will remain a priority

King Abdullah II of Jordan meets PA chairman, reaffirms commitment to help Palestinians achieve a state.

Elad Benari ,

King Abdullah II, Mahmoud Abbas
King Abdullah II, Mahmoud Abbas
Issam Rimawi/Flash 90

King Abdullah II of Jordan on Thursday met with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Amman and reaffirmed that the Palestinian issue is the central issue in the Middle East and will remain on top of Jordan's priorities, the Xinhua news agency reports.

The king stressed that Jordan places all its capabilities at the disposal of the Palestinians to attain their “legitimate and just rights” that will result in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

King Abdullah reiterated the need to preserve the historic and legal status of Jerusalem, while pledging Jordan will continue to play its historic and religious role in safeguarding the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem based on the Hashemite Custodianship, according to Xinhua.

Abbas voiced appreciation for Jordan's efforts and stand on the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem, and King Abdullah's efforts to defend the rights of the Palestinians on all fronts.

The meeting comes ahead of an economic summit the US is planning to hold in Bahrain next month and in which it is expected to unveil the economic portion of its Middle East peace plan.

The PA immediately announced that it would boycott the economic conference, with its “information minister” Nabil Abu Rudeineh saying that the conference would be a meaningless meeting that was part of a meaningless plan.

On Wednesday, PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat reiterated that PA officials will not be attending the economic conference in Bahrain.

“This is a collective Palestinian position, from President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee to all Palestinian political movements and factions, national figures, private sector and civil society,” said Erekat in a statement.

“We reiterate that we did not mandate anyone to negotiate on our behalf. Those concerned and want to serve the interest of the Palestinian people should respect this collective position. Palestine’s full economic potential can only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation, respecting international law and UN resolutions,” he added.

Erekat’s statement came even after countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced they would take part in the Bahrain conference.