US official comments on Jordan’s absence from Negev Forum

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AMMAN — A senior US State Department official lamented Sunday Jordan's expected absence from the Negev Forum meeting of Israel and its Arab allies, which is scheduled to be held in the UAE on Monday and Tuesday, Khaberni reported.اضافة اعلان

According to an Israeli news outlet, Jordan will be the only Arab country sustaining full diplomatic relations with Israel that will not be sending a delegation to the meeting, which will discuss various regional projects.

Previously, the US State Department had announced that an American delegation would be sent to the UAE to participate in the meeting and convene with representatives of the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, and the UAE to encourage regional cooperation, Khaberni reported.

However, according to the US official, “there’s an empty chair at the table because Jordan obviously has a peace agreement with Israel,” the Israeli source reported.

Jordan has held fast to its firm position against joining the Negev Forum in solidarity with the Palestinian side, as the Palestinian Authority has refused to cooperate publicly with the forum, which it views as part of attempts to marginalize the Palestinian cause.

Nevertheless, on Sunday, a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Jordan is “still invited to attend the Negev summit in Morocco", which will convene high-level representatives of four Arab Countries as well as the US, according to Khaberni.

The meeting will likely be scheduled for March, the spokesman said. 

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