Saturday, February 24, 2007
Jordan urges Palestinian compromise
"Jordan's King Abdullah has said that the new Palestinian unity government must adhere to the demands of the Middle Eastern Quartet that include recognising Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by peace deals.
King Abdullah's comments, the first from an Arab leader, came in an interview with Israel's Channel Two, and will air on Saturday. His statements are the first from the region to cast a doubt on the willingness of major Arab donors to side-step a US-led embargo of the Hamas-led government unless it commits to the conditions.
"You're not alone on this," Abdullah said in the interview when asked about Israeli concerns that the power-sharing deal between Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president and Fatah leader, fails to meet the Quartet's demands.
"There's international common ground - not just western but also Arab and to an extent Muslim - that believe that there have to be certain criteria that the new government has to accept if we're going to move the process forward," Abdullah said.......
Jordanian officials have privately supported US-led efforts to isolate the Hamas government that took power after winning the January 2006 elections, unless it embraced Middle East peace moves.....
While the unity government agreement contained a vague promise to "respect" previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements it fell short of what the Quartet wants.
"It's not just ... the international players, but also the Arab countries are also expecting the new Palestinian government to adhere to the policies that we have set out in the Quartet, and in the Arab Quartet also," Abdullah said, referring to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
King Abdullah said Abbas should be given "the mandate to start negotiations with the Israelis," and the new government should be in "full compliance with the Arab Accord as well as international commitments"....."