Jordan's King Abdullah sees no Mideast peace without US role

AFP , Sunday 4 Feb 2018

King Abdullah II of Jordan
King Abdullah II of Jordan (File: Reuters)

King Abdullah II of Jordan said Sunday that the United States remains essential to any hope of a peaceful solution between Israel and the Palestinians, despite widespread criticism of the new US stance on Jerusalem.

"We cannot have a peace process or a peace solution without the role of the United States," the monarch said on the CNN program "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

This was true even after President Donald Trump decided to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv -- where nearly every other country has its embassy -- to Jerusalem, he said.

In December, Jordan had called Trump's move "a violation of decisions of international law and the United Nations charter," and Abdullah re-iterated his concerns to Vice President Mike Pence who visited the Middle East last month.

And Abdullah noted on Sunday that Trump's decision had "created a backlash" by leaving Palestinians feeling "that there isn't an honest broker."

But, he added, "I'd like to reserve judgment, because we're still waiting for the Americans to come out with their (peace) plan."

Trump's decision was warmly embraced by Israel but widely decried around the world, sparking outrage and protests from Arabs and Muslims.

Arabs and Muslims

Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual Palestinian state and had hoped that peace talks might someday bring international recognition of that status.

"I think we have to give the Americans the benefit of the doubt and all work together" once the White House issues a peace plan, Abdullah said, while adding that "if it is not a good plan ... I don't think we've got a Plan B at this stage."

The United States has long seen Jordan as a source of moderation and stability in the region.

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