Published: Mon, January 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Netanyahu: No alternative for American leadership

Netanyahu: No alternative for American leadership

The king of Jordan met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence this weekend, and he wasn't shy about his opinion on the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

In a new expression of that snub, Abbas overlapped with Pence in Jordan from Saturday evening to midday Sunday, when the Palestinian leader flew to Brussels for a meeting with European Union foreign ministers Monday. He goes to Israel after that but will not meet any Palestinian officials. Pence will be accompanied only by the rabbi in charge of the site, and the media arrangements will be handled by the American embassy in Israel, not the Israeli government press office. A coalition of Arab parties said Saturday it would boycott the address, calling Pence "dangerous and messianic".

On Tuesday, the devout Christian will visit Jerusalem's Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism.

"Today, we have a major challenge to overcome, especially with some of the rising frustrations", the king told Pence after a meeting in Amman. France, meanwhile, is reportedly trying to boost Palestine's political standing at the EU. "What is being proposed is null and void and will have no impact on the ground", he added The PA's decision to reject the United States as a mediator or a patron of the peace process is triggered as the latter turns a part of the stalemate, he said, and noted the PA's stance aims to launch a peace process based on int'l legitimacy and not through "war and bullying". "There's no substitute to the American leadership in leading the diplomatic process".

Abbas will urge the European Union to take on a bigger role in trying to move peace efforts forward, declaring American "exclusivity and monopoly" in the process is over, Malki said. They are Israeli citizens and represent 17.5 percent of the population. Pence is not expected to travel through Basilica of Holy Sepulchre, a sacred place par excellence for Christians.

There will "no open arms" in the Arab Muslim world for Mr Pence given that his trip is unlikely to yield anything positive for Jordan, Ms Hassan said.

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"And as President Trump has made clear, the United States of America will never allow Iran to acquire a usable nuclear weapon".

"Jerusalem is key to Muslims and Christians as it is to Jews", he added.

Netanyahu, addressing his cabinet earlier on Sunday, described Pence as a "great friend of the State of Israel" and said they would discuss US efforts "to halt Iran's aggression, the Iranian nuclear programme, and ways to advance peace and security in the region".

The king said on Sunday he hoped Pence's visit, the second leg of his regional visit, would "rebuild trust and confidence" after the United States decision last month to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Israel claims Jerusalem as its "undivided capital", while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. In comments delivered in Egypt, he said Washington would support a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians if the two sides agreed to it.

Abbas's talks in Brussels come as US Vice President Mike Pence visits Israel during a tour of the Middle East with Arab anger still smouldering over Washington's hugely contentious decision on Jerusalem.

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