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Jordan tries to revive PA negotiations

Abdullah and Abbas Meet in Ramallah

Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi

Jordan’s King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh visited Ramallah yesterday. This was the king’s second visit ever to the Palestinian Authority.

In yet another attempt to bring the PA back to the negotiating table with Israel, Abdullah presented PA President Mahmoud Abbas with an inititiative for resuming talks.

The plan call for the PA to return to the negotiating table with no preconditions regarding settlements. But in exchange, the EU would support the PA’s bid for UN membership in a year once negotiations fail.

Hamas and the PA have been holding reconciliation talks this past week. Jordan fears an expansion of the Hamas control and influence within the PA, as that could cause instability in Jordan where the majority of its population are Palestinian.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said that Jordan has no intention of forming an independent relationship with Hamas, and emphasized that Jordan’s relationship is with the PA whom they support.

Despite that, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is set to make a quick visit to Jordan this week.

Meanwhile Jordan’s new Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh called the closings and expulsions of Hamas from Jordan in 1999 a political and legal mistake, and that Jordan’s ties with Hamas are still strong.

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