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Coordinated stand that should be heeded

May 18,2017 - Last updated at May 18,2017

His Majesty King Abdullah’s meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in Cairo on Wednesday took place at a time the region is undergoing fast changes and is facing unprecedented, ever-growing challenges.

The presidency of Donald Trump in the US also brought a sudden shift in fundamentals and created new regional and international dynamics. Former enemies became allies, loyalties changed, once silent thought became loud incitement, facts are discredited and alternative facts have to be believed.

Jordan has steadfastly maintained its principled stands, as seen in its consistent policy on all issues.

Its efforts to protect religious sanctuaries in Jerusalem and preserve the city’s Arab character, as part of the Hashemite custodianship, is one such constant, and a point discussed by His Majesty with the Egyptian president.

Besides the bilateral issues, the two leaders also tackled regional crises and the importance of arriving at political solutions to them.

They agreed on the need to revive the stalled peace process and negotiations, based on the Arab Peace Initiative and pertinent international conventions, in order to reach the two-state solution: a state for the Palestinians, with East Jerusalem as its capital, alongside Israel.

The issue of Jerusalem is all the more pressing since the US president is due to arrive in Israel, in few days, and will undoubtedly be under pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to relocate his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, a move Arab leaders warn would have dire consequences.

Trump’s first foreign visit starts in Saudi Arabia next week. There, the future of Jerusalem can be expected to figure high in his talks with Saudi King Salman.

It is hoped that the US president will not undermine his country’s relations with the Arab and Muslim worlds by taking unwise decisions on Jerusalem.

 

King Abdullah’s talks in Cairo with the Egyptian president should signal where the Arab world stands on major regional issues, an indication that should be picked by anybody attempting to destabilise even more a region in utter turmoil.

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