Amman - Jordan's King Abdullah firmly rejects the idea of a confederation with the Palestinians in the place of a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict, the royal court said Wednesday.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a group of Israeli lawmakers and activists on Sunday that President Donald Trump's negotiating team had asked him whether he would agree to a confederation with neighbouring Jordan.
Peace Now's executive director Shaqued Morag, who attended the meeting, said Abbas told the US that he would agree to a trilateral confederation that includes Israel.
“I said [to Kushner and Greenblatt]; Yes, I want a three-way confederation with Jordan and Israel. I asked them if the Israelis would agree to such a proposal,” a statement by Peace Now quoted Abbas as saying.
Peace Now is an Israeli NGO that was founded in 1978 with the aim of promoting a two-state solution as the only viable solution to the conflict.
Abbas's office confirmed the meeting with Israeli peace activists had taken place, but did not confirm his comments on the confederation.
Neighbouring Jordan, along with most of the international community, has long supported a two-state solution to the long-running conflict.
"Every year we hear about a confederation. My question is, a confederation with whom? This is a red line for Jordan," King Abdullah said, according to a palace statement.
"Jordan's position is firm and steadfast. There is no alternative to the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital," he said.
"Any proposal outside this framework has no value," he said.
Palestinians see the idea of a confederation as detrimental to their long-held dream of a state.
Decades ago, Israeli officials introduced the notion of a confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan, but not one that would include Israel. A confederacy with Jordan would likely mean an end to Palestinian aspirations for independence. The idea has long been advocated by Israelis who are generally opposed to an independent Palestinian state.
Palestinian officials have been boycotting the White House since Trump’s December 6 recognition of Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and have repeatedly rejected the Trump administration’s peace plan, “Deal of the century” to be proposed soon, claiming it was a coordinated move with Israel.
In response, Trump said in January that he would cut aid to the Palestinians in order to push them back to the negotiating table.
The US said Friday it would cease all funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) which helps some three million needy refugees across the Middle East.
Palestinian leaders see these moves as part of an effort to "liquidate" their cause.