Egypt and Jordan: ‘No concessions’ on Palestinian state

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan on Tuesday stressed there could be no concessions on establishing a Palestinian state.

The announcement, which was made in a statement after the two leaders met in Cairo, came after President Donald Trump’s administration suggested last week it would not insist on a Palestinian state for a Middle East peace agreement.

“The two sides discussed ways to push the stagnant Middle East peace process, especially in light of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration coming to power,” said the statement, according to AFP.

A two-state solution “with a Palestinian state… with east Jerusalem as its capital is a nationalist principle that cannot be conceded,” added the two leaders.

After meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington last week, Trump said he would not necessarily push for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one,” Trump said.

But his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, later tempered this stance, saying Washington “absolutely” supports a two-state solution but wants new ideas on how to move forward.

“Anybody that wants to say the United States does not support the two-state solution, that would be an error. We absolutely support a two-state solution, but we are thinking out-of-the-box as well,” she said.

Tuesday’s statement marks the second time this week that Egypt has reiterated its commitment to a two-state solution.

On Sunday, Sisi’s spokesman clarified that Egypt is doing all it can to see a “just and permanent resolution” to the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution.

Al-Sisi several months ago urged Israelis and Palestinian Arabs to seize what he said was a “real opportunity” for peace and hailed his own country’s peace deal with Israel.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, made a rare visit to Israel this past July, during which he met with Netanyahu and stressed that his country is committed “to supporting a just, comprehensive and sustainable resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”.