July 13, 2020 / 9:54 PM / a month ago

Jordan king warns that Israel's annexation plans jeopardize regional peace

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan’s King Abdullah warned on Monday that any unilateral Israeli moves to annex territory in the occupied West Bank would fuel instability and dim hopes of a final settlement of the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict.

The monarch told British lawmakers the only path to a comprehensive and lasting Middle East peace was the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war, and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“Any unilateral Israeli measure to annex lands in the West Bank is unacceptable, as it would undermine the prospects of achieving peace and stability in the Middle East,” the monarch was quoted in a palace statement as telling British foreign and defence parliamentary committee members in a virtual meeting.

Jordan has led a diplomatic campaign along with most other European countries that opposes Israeli plans that envisage annexing parts of the occupied West Bank as part of a deal being promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

King Abdullah, a staunch U.S. ally, has also in recent months warned that Israeli policies along with Trump’s peace plan would lead to conflict and deal a blow to Israeli-Jordanian relations.

Amman lost the West Bank including East Jerusalem to Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Jordan is the second Arab country after Egypt to sign a peace treaty with Israel and many of its more than 7 million citizens are of Palestinian origin.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi in Amman; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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