Jordan’s King Abdullah told U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday he looked to Washington to rebuild “trust and confidence” in moving towards a two-state solution in Israel after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the country’s capital.
With Pence sitting across from him in the royal palace, King Abdullah said Jordan viewed the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a “potential major source of instability”.
He said he had raised his concerns for some time that such a decision on Jerusalem “does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”. He also reiterated that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
“We hope that the U.S. will reach out and find the right way to move forward in these challenging circumstances,” he said.
Pence said in Egypt on Saturday and again in Jordan that the United States would support a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians if they both agreed to it.
Trump’s endorsement in December of Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital drew universal condemnation from Arab leaders and criticism around the world. It also broke with decades of U.S. policy that the city’s status must be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Jordan lost East Jerusalem and the West Bank to Israel during the Arab-Israeli war in 1967.
Pence told the king that Washington was committed to preserving the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem.
King Abdullah’s Hashemite dynasty is the custodian of the Muslim holy sites in the city, making Amman particularly sensitive to any changes of status there.
Jordanian officials fear Trump’s move has wrecked chances of a resumption of Arab-Israeli peace talks, which King Abdullah had sought to revive.
“We take no position on boundaries and final status. Those are subject to negotiation,” Pence said.
After the meeting, Pence flew to a military facility near the Syrian border to meet with U.S. troops. He will finish his three-nation Middle East trip in Israel.
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