Whilst a lot of diplomatic eyes around the world have been looking to the increasingly positive situation between North Korea and the United States, or concerning situations with Russia and the West, King Abdullah of Jordan met with Palestinian leaders on Monday. The meeting between the King and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas took place at the ultra-modern El Husseiniya Palace to the west of the capital, Amman built in 2006.
As the leader of the Royal Hashemite Court, the King is responsible for its Custodianship of both the Christian and Muslim religious sites in Jerusalem, and he was keen to stress that a just and comprehensive peace was the only way that peace and stability could come to the region. He spoke out strongly against Israel’s unilateral actions against the holy sites, affirming Jordan’s full support for the Palestinian people and defending their legitimate rights to liberty and independent statehood on Palestinian national soil. In response, President Abbas commended Jordan’s efforts, led by His Majesty, in defending the Palestinian cause, supporting the Palestinian people, and safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
The King also confirmed that the best way to achieve a political solution was within the framework of International law and the various UN resolutions together with the Arab Peace initiative. Through this Jordan should work with all interested parties to move towards a two-state solution with the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. He was keen to revive the peace process and restart Palestinian-Israeli negotiations to work towards this goal.
It is important to note though, that King Abdullah does not do all the work remotely from Jordan but sometimes visits the area, as reported in Royal Central in December when the King visited Jerusalem and met with Christian leaders. They, in turn, thanked him for the custodianship of the religious sites of both faiths based on the Pact of Oman. Returning to the current discussions, both King Abdullah II and President Mahmoud Abbas stressed the need to maintain these consultations over the developments as they slowly progress towards that hoped for peaceful solution.