Palestine, Al-Aqsa likely to be at forefront of discussions between King, Biden

king queen biden
(Photo: Royal Court)
AMMAN — On Tuesday, the Royal Court announced that His Majesty King Abdullah is scheduled to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday. While the strategic partnership between Jordan and the US was said to be at the forefront discussions, experts interviewed by Jordan News suggested the latest developments around Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestine were likely to top the agenda.اضافة اعلان

In July 2021, the King was the first Arab leader to meet Biden since the president took office in January of the same year.

Political analyst and writer Omar Kullab told Jordan News that Friday’s meeting sends the message that Jordan is important to the US administration and is an acknowledgement of the magnitude of the challenges that Jordan faces regionally and economically.

“Jordan lives within a ring of fire,” he said, adding that Jordan plays a significant role in regional developments in Iraq, Syria, and Palestine.

Both parties’ greatest fear regarding Palestine, according to Kullab, is that the situation will spiral out of control, i.e. a collapse of the Palestinian Authority and the resumption of direct confrontations between Palestinian resistance movements and Israeli occupation forces.

Both administrations want to “prevent the collapse of what is left of the PA,” he said.

Kullab was not optimistic about discussions on Palestine, particularly due to the “legacy Biden inherited from Trump in the form of the ‘deal of the century’” and the attitude of the incumbent Israeli government.

He was, however, optimistic about other regional topics, explaining that “Jordan will be able to effect positive change” regarding Syria and Iraq.

Labib Kamhawi, also a political analyst and writer, said the meeting would focus on emphasizing the importance of Jordanian-US relations and the possibility of exerting pressure on Israel in order to calm the situation.
Jordan would expect Biden to reiterate support for the Jordanian historical role at Al-Aqsa at a time when the Israeli government is challenging it.
However, he shared Kullab’s lack of optimism regarding any discussions of Palestine.

“Nothing very important will come out of this visit regarding Palestine,” he said, unless the US pressure Israel to stop its actions at Al-Aqsa. He added that Jordan would expect Biden to reiterate support for the Jordanian historical role at Al-Aqsa at a time when the Israeli government is challenging it.

For his part, professor of international relations and conflict management Hasan Al-Momani stressed the economic, security, and political importance of Jordan’s strategic relationship with the US.

“There is no doubt that the Palestinian issue is one of the most important issues governing the Jordanian-US relationship,” he said.

The US dominates the peace process, he added, and is the most effective mediator due to its influence on all parties, particularly Israel.

Momani believed that Palestine and Al-Aqsa would feature heavily in His Majesty’s meeting with President Biden and added that “ultimately, Jordan hopes to create conditions for peace negotiations to resume.”

“(Their) immediate concern is to control the escalating violence and pressure Israel to stop its ... attempts to alter the status quo,” he said.

However, Biden has not shown a real interest in tackling the Palestinian issue since assuming office, according to Momani, and believed it is not as high a priority for the incumbent administration when compared to other regional issues such as the negotiations with Iran regarding the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the war in Ukraine.

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