Politics


Mideast: Abdullah renews call for settlement freeze




Amman, 9 Nov. (AKI) - Jordan's King Abdullah II on Monday warned Israel to stop "playing with fire" regarding the future of Jerusalem. "Jerusalem is a red line and Israel must internalise the importance the city holds for Arabs and Christian Muslims, and stop playing with fire," said Abdullah.

Abdullah said if Arabs efforts failed to enforce a construction freeze in settlements ahead of negotiations, then the Americans and the international community must intervene.

The king was due to arrive in the United Kingdom on Monday and meet British prime minister Gordon Brown to discuss peace efforts in the Middle East.

Abdullah warned that intervention would be necessary to ensure that any negotiations focus on a permanent agreement, on issues such as final borders, the status of Palestinian refugees and the future of Jerusalem.

The outcome of the negotiations must promise the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, he said.

The leaders of Jordan and Egypt - the only two Arab states to conclude official peace treaties with Israel - warned earlier this month that Israel's unilateral actions in East Jerusalem and other Arab areas were "derailing" efforts aimed at resuming peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

The remarks came in a joint communique issued at the end of a brief visit to Cairo by Jordan's King Abdullah II where he held talks with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

Abdullah and Mubarak "stressed the need for an immediate cessation of Israeli unilateral actions, particularly the building of settlements and jeopardising the identity of Jerusalem and holy places, which could only derail the chances of peaces."


 

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