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Is There a New 'Jordan Option'?

A meeting in Jordan between King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, soon after the visit of US President Barack Obama to Jordan, may signal a new role for Jordan, writes Akiva Eldar.    
Jordan's King Abdullah (L) welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Royal Palace in Amman March 31, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS) - RTXY3S1
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A chain of developments in Israel and its surroundings since the historic visit by US President Barack Obama could indicate that the busiest personality in the world did not abandon the US economic, employment and health burdens only to lay wreaths on graves in Jerusalem and to chat with young people in Ramallah. 

The list starts out with the reconciliation between Israel and Turkey and continues with the decision by the Arab League summit in Qatar. Almost at the same time, Secretary of State John Kerry emerged from a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni with a promise that the new Israeli government would not embarrass the US President with unilateral steps, such as announcing the construction of a new neighborhood in east Jerusalem. In return, Netanyahu was told that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) had promised that the Palestinian Authority would freeze all moves vis-à-vis international organizations for several months, first and foremost its intention to enlist the international criminal court against Israel’s settlement enterprise. Last Wednesday [April 3], the Fatah leadership granted formal approval to this important step en route to renewal of negotiations over a permanent arrangement. This decision was not conditioned on implementation of the Palestinian demand for official Israeli agreement to freeze settlements as a precondition for renewing negotiations.

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