Jordan's king meets Mashaal, urges 2-state solution
King Abdullah, Hamas politburo chief discuss Palestinian issue; Abdullah urges Palestinian reconciliation, rejects concept of Palestinian-Jordanian confederation
King Abdullah rejected the concept of a Palestinian-Jordanian confederation and said that discussing it is unacceptable before a Palestinian state is established.
Mashaal said after the meeting that the two discussed the Palestinian issue and its future in light of the Israeli and American elections.
He added that the inner-Palestinian reconciliation issue was also discussed.
Jordan's King Abdullah (L) and Hamas' Khaled Mashaal (R) (Photo: EPA)
Hamas Politburo Chief Mashaal in Jordan (Photo: EPA)
This was the second meeting in the past few months between Jordan's king and Mashaal and is part of measures taken to improve relations between Hamas and the Hashemite Kingdom.
The two sides underwent a long rift which originated in Mashaal's and other Hamas officials' expulsion from Jordan in 1999, which forced Hamas to re-establish its politburo in Damascus, Syria.
During the meeting the king expressed his support of the inner-Palestinian reconciliation attempt, saying it forms the basis to bolster the Palestinian people's unity and that only through unity could they achieve their legitimate rights, including a Palestinian state's establishment.
Following the meeting, King Abdullah addressed the efforts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and said that lately a series of meetings between the opposing sides have taken place in order to try to renew the negotiations and jumpstart the process.
Jordan's king mentioned that in the meetings the sides tried to set a clear timetable to achieve a two-state solution, which according to him "is the only way to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East."
The improved relations between Hamas and Jordan are the result of common interests.
Mashaal, whose politburo offices in Damascus were lost due to the Syrian civil-war, wants the Jordanian authorities approval to re-open an official Hamas mission in Amman.
By embracing Hamas, Abdullah hopes to pacify the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood in light of the Arab Spring and fears of a popular uprising in Jordan.
Over the last months Abdullah has been trying to find ways to renew the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
Last week he met with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Davos Summit.
In December the Arab media reported that Abdullah had been meeting in secret with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Amman. In addition, Abdullah visited Ramallah twice in 2012 for meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org