Jordan’s King Abdullah II rejected on Sunday the notion that his country was an “alternative homeland” for Palestinian Arabs, the state news agency Petra reports.
“Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine and nothing but that, not in the past or the future,” King Abdullah was quoted as having said in a meeting with the Prime Minister, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the Lower House.
“We know how this issue has been surfacing since 15 years, or even more, where things start in the spring by the same group, who tense the Jordanian society, and by the summer, people feel scared; a thing that makes me reassure them by a speech or a press interview, but this year, unfortunately, the talk about the so-called alternative homeland stated early,” he said.
“There are more important issues to focus on, especially with regards to political and economic reform. What we should do is to work as a team until we work out our internal issues,” added the King.
“This, God’s willing, will be the last time we talk about this subject, and I have said it more than once, but what is required now is everyone’s support in this issue,” he noted, according to Petra.
There have been many calls on Jordan to accept the so-called “Palestinian refugees”, considering that the areas liberated by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War were under Jordanian control.
More importantly, since a majority of Jordanians – which was established in 1947 on 77% of the British Mandate of Palestine – are Palestinian Arabs (some 70%), some have suggested the country should rightfully serve as a Palestinian state.
The Hashemite Kingdom, however, has rejected these calls. King Abdullah’s latest remarks come amid growing concern in Jordan over U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposed framework agreement and what will be its effect on Jordan.
Jordan’s government is hoping to be spared by a popular uprising by having the repressed “Palestinians” removed and sent to Israel as part of a future deal.
One of King Abdullah’s closest advisors recently demanded a Jordanian presence in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), explaining that “Jordan should join the negotiating table immediately – since it is bound to be the one paying the price of the Israeli and American positions.”
King Abdullah and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently met in Amman, where they discussed the ongoing negotiations.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas also recently met with the Jordanian King and the two “exchanged views” about unifying Kerry’s initiative.
Last week, the King met with President Barack Obama and discussed the peace talks. Hours before the meeting, hundreds of Islamists rallied in Jordan against a peace deal between Israel and the PA.
The 1,200 protesters affiliated with Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, who demonstrated against Kerry’s peace framework, also burned the Israeli flag and demanded that King Abdullah “revoke the peace treaty with the Zionists.”
Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, recently reiterated that Jordan will not be an “alternative home for anybody.”