Report: Jordan to oppose PA statehood bid
Senior official tells UAE-based al-Bayan newspaper that Amman's national interests 'could be in danger' if Palestinians' General Assembly bid succeeds
A senior Jordanian official says the Hashemite kingdom will vote against a Palestinian statehood bid scheduled to be put before the UN General Assembly in September.
"Jordan's top national interests will be in danger if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood unilaterally – especially in everything related to the issue of refugees, water, Jerusalem, and the borders," the UAE-based al-Bayan quoted a Jordanian state official as saying.
The high-ranking official added that a unilateral Palestinian declaration of state is in Israel's best interest, as it wants the state to be established "within the borders of the separation fence" – a move that would effectively erase the border between the West Bank and Jordan, which the kingdom vehemently rejects.
The report says Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit publicly expressed this opinion during a speech he made two months ago before fellow statesmen.
This was, according to the report, "the beginning of the exposure of Jordan's decision to publicly stand its ground before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas".
Meanwhile, the paper also reported that Jordan is preparing to cancel the identification papers provided for Palestinian statesmen and their families. The decision was explained as a move that began with a 1988 ruling "to disengage from the West Bank and maintain Palestinian identity".
However, the paper claims this decision displays the deterioration in relations between the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, also seen in the Palestinian decision to prefer Egypt to Jordan as mediator in the truce talks between rival factions Hamas and Fatah.