Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said on Sunday that Jordan refuses to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. He added that there are no written US documents about the proposed solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict so far.
In a statement to parliament about the ongoing American peace efforts and their repercussions on Jordan, Judeh said that all that is said about the Jewish state is “unacceptable”. The document in circulation, he pointed out, is no more than a framework for the negotiations. Acceptance of that framework is the prerogative of the participants in the talks; it is not Jordan’s role, he insisted.
However, he stressed that Jordan would not be cast as the “alternative homeland” for the Palestinians and has an important part to play in the talks about the final status issues because they are linked to Jordan’s own interests.
Judeh told Jordanian parliamentarians that the US proposal to end the conflict is based on ending the Israeli occupation and finding a just solution for the Palestinian refugees. That solution, he added, is based on international legitimacy and the Arabic Peace Initiative. In this regard, he called on the Palestinians to take courageous and historical decisions to establish their state. “We will help them to achieve the two-state solution,” he said.
The foreign minister described the ongoing American peace efforts as the most “concentrated and intensified” compared with previous efforts.
The Palestinians and Israelis are apparently close to reaching an agreement on the US framework deal that cancels the right of return for the Palestinian refugees. This poses a serious problem for Jordan as more than half of its residents are Palestinians.
According to American peace envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk, the deal will include compensation for the refugees, setting up a buffer zone between the West Bank and Jordan, and a land swap. Speaking last Friday, Indyk did not say if the deal would allow any Palestinians at all to return to their land. As far as a land swap is concerned, Israel is expected to keep control over about 75 per cent of the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Jews who claim to have been forced to leave Arab countries are also to be compensated.