WASHINGTON – Jordanian King Abdullah told leaders of Jewish American organizations on Friday that he has “no idea” what is included in the Trump administration’s plan for Middle East peace.
The king said that he hasn’t seen the plan, and that he doesn’t think any other Arab leaders have, either. “I just don’t know,” he told the group, which met him in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly gathering.
According to sources who spoke with Haaretz, Abdullah didn’t directly criticize the Trump administration’s policy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but he reiterated that the Arab states will never be able to support a plan that falls short of the decades-long formula for a two-state solution. He said that any discussion of other alternatives, such as a Jordanian-Palestinian confederacy or a Palestinian autonomous region, is a “waste of time.”
Abdullah added that reports about Arab leaders supporting the administration’s plan are premature, as those leaders don’t in fact know what the plan will include.
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The Jordanian king made the remarks during an hour-long meeting on Friday, in which he was accompanied by his Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi. The participants in the meeting represented large, mainstream Jewish groups.
During the discussions, Abdullah also expressed concern about the Trump administration’s significant cuts in aid to the Palestinians. He asked rhetorically what the participants think will happen if UNRWA, the UN agency in charge of assisting Palestinian refugees and their descendants, won’t be able to operate its schools in the West Bank and Gaza because of Trump’s budget cuts.
The king stated that he understands the Trump administration’s wishes to reform UNRWA, and is open to discussing possible improvements to the agency, but that Jordan was nevertheless concerned about the impacts of the budget cuts on the ground. None of the participants argued with him over that point. According to one source, he said that these are questions that should also bother Israeli security officials.