Jordan’s interests in peace process will be safeguarded
Jordan will not accept any solution to the Palestinian refugee issue without taking into consideration its national interests including those of its citizens of Palestinian origin, a senior official said on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told lawmakers that the Kingdom retains its right “to reject, accept or express reservation” over any solution that comes at the expense of the country’s national rights.
His remarks came during a Lower House meeting designated to discuss US Secretary of State John Kerry’s ongoing efforts to push the Mideast peace process forward and hammer out a framework agreement to the almost seven-decade-old Middle East conflict.
Judeh stressed that Kerry’s approach in this regard is compatible with Jordan’s vision of a solution to the conflict based on ending the occupation, establishing an independent Palestinian state within pre- June 4, 1967 lines and a just and agreed upon solution to the refugee issue according to international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative.
“We do not negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians, but we are a key and central stakeholder in these negotiations, as we are concerned with certain final status issues… that directly touch on our higher national interests.”
Judeh vowed continued support for the Palestinians “at this critical stage of their struggle to reach a two-state solution”.
However, MPs accused Kerry of “attempting to impose an unjust peace solution”.
The majority of around 100 MPs who spoke during the meeting warned against “serious threats” to the national interests, in particular, the refugee issue.
Jordan is the largest host of Palestinian refugees who fled or were forced to leave their lands after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, which ended in the creation of Israel.
Leading MPs expressed their fears that the “vague” plan, which is not officially out yet, would risk Jordan’s rights in the process, reminding the government of the 1993 Oslo Accords between the Israelis and the Palestinians, when the two parties negotiated a peace agreement behind closed doors and then came out with “shocking announcement” after Jordan was kept in the dark.
During a meeting with leading journalists in Amman last week, Assistant US Secretary of State William Burns stressed that Jordan is being kept abreast with progress in the negotiations under way between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
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