Jerusalem should be capital of Palestinian state—King Abdullah

Jordanian monarch says the US has to rebuild trust and confidence after Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

15:38 January 21, 2018

Amman: Jordan’s King Abdullah expressed concern on Sunday over a decision by Washington to recognise Occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and said the only solution to the Israel Palestinian conflict was a two-state one.

In remarks during talks with US Vice Mike Pence in Amman, he reiterated that East Jerusalem had to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

He also said that the US must “rebuild trust and confidence” after the Trump’s decision.

The Jerusalem decision has infuriated the Palestinians, who accuse the US of siding with Israel and say Trump cannot serve as a mediator.

Abdullah noted that the US decision was not part of a “comprehensive settlement” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He says the US now has a “major challenge to overcome.”

During a meeting Saturday with Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi, Pence the US remained committed to a two-state solution.

He also assured Al Sissi the US was committed to “preserving the status quo with regard to holy sites in Jerusalem,” and that borders and other issues would be negotiated between the parties.

Al Sissi said in a statement after the meeting that he affirmed Egypt’s “unyielding position” in support of the Palestinians’ right to establish an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital. He said the conflict could only be resolved through negotiations leading to a two-state solution.

Israel occupied much of the West Bank and Jerusalem after the 1967 war, in a move never recognised by the international community.

Since then it has pursued systematic policies to change facts on the ground through its intensive colony building and restrictions on Palestinian building.

Jewish raids have also stepped up on Al Haram Al Sharif—the third holiest site in Islam—where the Al Aqsa mosque stands.

Under a status quo agreement Jews can visit but not perform religious rituals there.

Al Haram Al Sharif was built on the remnants of the Temple Mount, which was destroyed by the Romans in the 4th century.

Ahead of Pence’s arrival, several dozen Jordanians gathered outside the US Embassy in Amman, protesting against US policies in the Middle East.

“America is the head of the snake,” they chanted.

Some held up a banner reading: “The envoy of the Zionist American right-wing is not welcome.”