Jordan FM says Israeli annexation poses ‘unprecedented danger’ during West Bank visit
Israeli annexation plans in the occupied West Bank pose an “unprecedented danger,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warned Thursday during a rare visit to the Palestinian territories.
Jordan’s top diplomat traveled by helicopter to Ramallah, headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, for talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
“The issue of annexation is an unprecedented danger to the peace process,” Safadi told journalists after the meeting.
“If annexation occurs, it will kill the two-state solution and destroy all the foundations on which the peace process was based,” he added.
Israel plans to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as well as the strategic Jordan Valley, moves given US blessing as part of a controversial peace initiative unveiled in January.
The Israeli government has said it could begin the annexation process from July 1, prompting Jordan to warn that it would review ties.
Safadi said the kingdom would continue to support Palestinians and “protect the region from the consequences of a long and painful conflict if Israel annexes a third of the occupied West Bank.”
Jordan and Egypt are the only Arab states to have peace agreements with Israel.
The minister’s visit to Ramallah was the first by a high-level foreign official since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which shut borders across the world.
Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official, said the Jordanian delegation shared Abbas’s position.
“Arab peace initiative, end the occupation, realizing the independence of the state of Palestine with east Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders,” he wrote on Twitter.
Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War, later annexing the city in a move never recognized by the international community.
Washington’s peace plan foresees the eventual creation of a Palestinian state but disregards key Palestinian demands including a capital in east Jerusalem.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II has taken his opposition to US Congress, telling some members this week that annexation is “unacceptable and undermines chances of peace and stability in the region.”
In the online meeting, Abdullah underlined the importance of “establishing an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state,” according to a palace statement.
The United Nations has warned that annexation could spark violence, while the European Union has also voiced its opposition.
Germany’s top diplomat traveled to Israel earlier this month without visiting the Palestinian territories, instead speaking to Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh by video link from the Jordanian capital Amman.