Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Jordan's Abdullah Discusses Possible West Bank Annexation By Israel

Jordan’s King Abdullah II says that any future Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank would have a “major impact” on Jerusalem’s ties with his country and Egypt, the only two Arab states with which Israel has peace treaties, and warned that a one-state solution would amount to “apartheid.”

After the new Israeli government is formed, “all of us, members of our region and the international community, will jump on board to say, ‘Can we focus back on the two-state solution?'” the Jordanian royal said in an MSNBC interview broadcast Monday.

“If it’s a one-state solution as you [the interviewer] alluded to, then we are talking about an apartheid future for Israel, which I think would be a catastrophe for all of us,” he said.

Asked about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement prior to the elections that he would annex parts of the West Bank, Abdullah said: “I take a pinch of salt with all electioneering.”

“But a statement like that does not help at all because what you do is hand over the narrative to the worst people in our neighborhood,” he said, referring to Netanyahu’s annexation pledge.

“And then, we that want peace tend to be more isolated. If the policy is to annex the West Bank, then that is going to have a major impact on the Israeli-Jordanian relationship and also on the Egyptian-Israeli relationship, because we are the two only Arab countries that have peace with Israel.”

Critics contend that Netanyahu’s pledges, if carried out, would inflame the Middle East and eliminate any remaining Palestinian hope of establishing a separate state. His political rivals have dismissed his talk of annexation as an election ploy, noting that he has refrained from annexing any territory during his more than a decade in power.

Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron and Abdullah said they “shared concern” over Netanyahu’s plans and reiterated their position that “there is no alternative to a two-state solution.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has vowed to cancel any existing agreements with Israel if it goes ahead with the move, and Amman has warned that extending sovereignty would kill the already moribund peace process and could affect the peace treaty between the countries.

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