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Jordan worries Israel-UAE deal will scuttle two-state solution

Jordan has always been a staunch supporter of the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative, but that might not mean much anymore after Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize ties under a historic US-brokered deal.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi (C-R) and his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (C-L) speak to journalists upon the latter's arrival in the capital Amman on March 13, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Khalil MAZRAAWI        (Photo credit should read KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP via Getty Images)

Jordan’s defense of the two-state solution as the only path for peace between Arab states and Israel has always been an uphill struggle that grew harder when Donald Trump moved into the White House. But the recent normalization agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel has made this objective more difficult to attain than ever. The UAE has claimed that the deal, announced by Trump on Aug. 14, has buried Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to announce that annexation was still “on the table.”

For years Jordan has nervously watched Israel and a number of Gulf States engage in secret and sometimes open contacts, encouraged by Washington. Only the UAE, Bahrain and Oman sent their ambassadors to attend the unveiling of Trump’s peace vision at the White House on Jan. 28. Jordan’s King Abdullah has ignored the proposal and reiterated his support for the two-state solution as outlined by the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002. Under that plan, normalization between Arab states and Israel can only take place following Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, paving the way for the creation of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

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