Aug. 7 (UPI) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II, after a meeting Monday in Ramallah, called for U.S. President Donald Trump to endorse a two-state solution.
Abdullah’s visit to Ramallah, his first since 2012, was in reaction to rising tensions over a key Old Jerusalem holy site known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount.
The Jordanian king told Abbas that Trump was committed to achieving peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
A statement from Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said, though, that Washington must clarify its position regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders. He also said Washington should support the freezing of settlement construction in order for negotiations to begin.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Abbas and Abdullah’s visited resulted in the formation of a joint team to address future crises and improve coordination over the tensions at the holy site.
In July, Muslims protested in Jerusalem and the West Bank after Israel added cameras and metal detectors at the site after a July 14 attack in which two Israeli officers and three attackers were killed. Abbas also suspended all contacts between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government until Israel removed the cameras at the end of the month.
Palestinian officials have criticized Washington for its handling of the holy site conflict and for its silence on recent settlement construction.
After a February meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said he “can live with either” a one-state or two-state solution as long as both parties are happy. The U.S. president also asked Israel to “hold back on settlements” until a peace deal with the Palestinians could be struck.