Jordan: World Must Stop Israel Settlement Building

Abdullah II warns Israel to stop 'playing with fire' regarding Jerusalem, plan for clear negotiations.

Jordanian King Abdullah II on Monday advised Israel to stop "playing with fire" regarding the future of Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem is a red line and Israel must internalize the importance the city holds for Arabs and Christian Muslims, and stop playing with fire," said Abdullah.

If Arabs efforts to enforce a construction freeze in settlements do not come into fruition as a condition for renewed negotiations, said Abdullah, then the Americans and international community must intervene.

This intervention would be necessary to ensure that any negotiations focus on a permanent agreement, said Abdullah, including final borders, the status of Palestinian refugees and the future of Jerusalem.

The outcome of the negotiations, said the king, must promise the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.

Negotiations of this kind must be clearly outlined in advance and accomplished within a set timetable, added the king.

The leaders of Jordan and Egypt - only two Arab states to conclude official peace treaties with Israel so far - warned earlier this month that Israel's unilateral actions in East Jerusalem and other Arab areas were "derailing" efforts aimed at resuming peace negotiations with the Palestinians, and would thereby have a "catastrophic" effect on the region.

The remarks came in a joint communique issued at the end of a whirlwind visit to Cairo by Jordan's King Abdullah II where he held talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The two leaders discussed the "catastrophic consequences on the region's stability and security resulting from the failure to seize the current opportunity for making peace," the statement said.]

Abdullah and Mubarak "stressed the need for an immediate cessation of Israeli unilateral actions, particularly the building of settlements and jeopardising the identity of Jerusalem and holy places, which could only derail the chances of peaces."

The leaders also echoed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' rejection of a fresh appeal by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to resume peace negotiations before Israel stopped all forms of settlement construction.