WASHINGTON — East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future independent Palestinian state, King Abdullah II of Jordan told US President Donald Trump on Monday in a meeting at the White House.
Speaking with the president days after hosting his top aides in Amman for talks on the administration’s upcoming Middle East peace plan, Abdullah told Trump that a traditional framework for a two-state solution remains a “foremost” priority for Jordanians, according to a description of the meeting provided by their embassy in Washington.
“Discussing the peace process, His Majesty stressed that the two-state solution which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil with east Jerusalem as its capital, is the only way to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and it is the cornerstone of achieving security and stability in the entire region,” the statement reads.
Following the tour by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who is leading the peace team, and Jason Greenblatt, his top envoy to the region, of the Middle East last week, reports began to surface of alarm in Jordan and Egypt over the contents of the coming plan, which may take an unconventional structure that would be dismissed out of hand by the Palestinians. Such a structure might include using land outside of Gaza and the West Bank for future use in a Palestinian state, in lieu of the growth of Israeli settlements.
The Palestinian Authority has cut off contact with the Trump administration ever since the president decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and to move the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv late last year. PA officials called the latest US tour a “waste of time” and dismissed any role the administration might have in a future peace effort.
“The king underlined the importance of stepping up efforts to push the peace process forward by relaunching serious and effective negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” the readout added, “leading to just and lasting peace. His Majesty noted the United States’ important role in this regard.”
In the Oval Office earlier Monday, neither Trump nor Abdullah commented on the peace plan. Trump merely stated that “progress” had been achieved in the Middle East, citing his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal last month.