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Sunday, July 3, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Jordan quietly lobbying against UN resolution on Palestinian statehood

AMMAN — Jordan has signaled its opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
  • Related Story: Congress threatens to cut off aid to Palestinians should statehood declaration at UN proceed July 4

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    Arab diplomatic sources said the Hashemite kingdom has expressed opposition to a unilateral state by the Palestinian Authority in September. The sources said senior Jordanian officials, including advisers to King Abdullah, determined that such a state would harm Amman's strategic interests.

    "Jordan is quietly making its views known in both Brussels and Washington," an Arab diplomat said.

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    The sources said Jordan has not ruled out voting against a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly for a Palestinian state. They said the kingdom was already warning most of the permanent members of the Security Council not to approve Palestinian statehood.

    "The General Assembly does not worry Jordan because its decisions have no real standing," the diplomat said. "It is the Security Council that could make the difference."

    On July 1, a senior Jordanian official warned that Amman could vote against Palestinian statehood in the General Assembly in September. The official told the United Arab Emirates daily, Al Bayan, that only Israel would benefit from a unilateral Palestinian state in the West Bank.

    "Jordan's top national interests will be in danger if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood unilaterally — especially in everything related to the issue of refugees, water, Jerusalem and borders," the official was quoted as saying.

    The sources said Jordan was already threatening to sever all links to the West Bank. They said this included a decision by Amman to no longer recognize travel documents by PA officials and their families. Most PA leaders, including chairman Mahmoud Abbas, have been granted travel access to the kingdom.

    Al Bayan said Jordan has been lobbying against any UN resolution on Palestinian statehood for several months. The newspaper cited an address by Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit to the diplomatic corps.

    "This marked the beginning of the exposure of Jordan's decision to publicly stand its ground before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas," Al Bayan said.

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