Palestinian officials urge US to clarify stance on future state

Press TV – Palestinian officials have called on the administration of US President Donald Trump to take a clear position regarding the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Secretary General, Saeb Erekat, made the call in a statement issued on Monday following a visit by Jordan’s King Abdullah II to the West Bank city of Ramallah.

In Ramallah, the Jordanian king sat down with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The meeting came days after tensions at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Abdullah’s visit carried “a message of support and succor for President Abbas and the Palestinian people,” Erekat’s statement read.

Jordan is one of only two Arab countries that have open diplomatic relations with Israel, the other one being Egypt.

Abdullah and Abbas agreed that Washington must clearly admit that the diplomatic process between Israelis and Palestinians was meant to create a Palestinian state on the basis of a two-state solution, the statement added.

The statement by Erekat also urged the US to agree that the negotiations aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict require a complete freeze in Tel Aviv’s settlement construction in the occupied territories.

The Trump administration has been by and large vague about the potential establishment of a Palestinian state. Earlier this year, Washington suggested that it would no longer insist on the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which envisages the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.

Palestinian officials say they want the resolution of the conflict with Tel Aviv based on the two-state solution along the pre-1967 boundaries. However, Israel has been building settlements deep within territory that the Palestinians want for their future state. Israeli regime officials also say they consider Jerusalem as the “capital” of their own “state.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah II (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, August 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

During his visit to Ramallah, the Jordanian king stressed his country’s support for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital and the importance of cooperation with the Trump administration to restart the so-called Middle East peace process, the official Petra news agency reported.

Abdullah and Abbas further underlined the need for maintaining the status quo at the Aqsa Mosque compound, according to the report.

A spokesman for Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said the Palestinian president had praised Abdullah’s efforts to defend the Palestinian cause, adding that the Jordanian king’s “important visit… constitutes a continuation of close coordination between the two sides on all levels.”

‘American commitment necessary’

On Sunday, during a meeting with Jordanian parliamentarians, Abdullah raised the importance of the US contributing to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The future of the Palestinian issue is at stake and reaching a solution is becoming more difficult. There will be no breakthrough in the peace process if there is no American commitment to support a solution to the Palestinian issue,” he said.