The United States and Jordan presented a new track for the stalled Middle East Peace Process, and called on both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume the peace process and tackle sensitive issues such as Jerusalem and borders before addressing other issues.On Friday, United States Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, held a meeting with Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Joudeh, and agreed that negotiations should tackle issues that are of concern to the Palestinians such as the ongoing construction of Jewish settlements.
After her meeting with Joudeh at the State Department, Clinton said that resolving the issue of borders resolves the issue of settlements, and the issue of Jerusalem also resolves settlements.
She added that the US is working with all related parties; Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Arab countries in order to ensure the resumption of peace talks without preconditions.
Israel always rejected to hold talks on Jerusalem, borders and the refugees and focused on smaller issues such as which cities would be handed to the Palestinian Authority.
Joudeh said that resolving the issues of borders means resolving settlements and Jerusalem, but this requires defining what a two-state solution means on the ground.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, said that Joudeh slammed Israel’s ongoing construction and expansion of Jewish settlements in Jerusalem, the capital of the future Palestinian state.
Both Clinton and Joudeh said that settlements are damaging the peace process, and stressed that Jerusalem is important for Jews, Muslims and Christians.
U.S special Middle East Envoy, George Mitchell, is preparing for a trip to Europe next weekend, and will then continue his trip to Israel and Palestine later this month in an attempt to resume the peace process.
Haaretz said that Mitchell will be carrying a latter of guarantees outlining the stance of the U.S administration.
The letter, Haaretz reported, would include a criticism to Israel’s settlement activities and a statement calling for considering the pre 1967 borders as the basis of a future peace deal. Yet, the US would grant Israel guarantees that some settlements would remain “part of Israel”.
The letters also includes a proposal for some land swaps. Clinton said that the United States wants a resolution that meets the Palestinian demands of clear borders and a viable state in the 1967 borders, and that the land swap should guarantee Israel’s security.