Pence and Jordan’s king “agree to disagree” on Jerusalem

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Vice President Mike Pence, left, had a “very frank discussion” with King Abdullah II of Jordan, right, in Amman on Sunday. (photo: Khalil Mazraawi / AFP / Getty Images)

Pence had delayed his trip to the region amid the furor over Trump’s decisions, which were seen as pro-Israel and a slap in the face to Palestinians.

By Rana Sweis | The New York Times | Jan 21, 2018


“Trump and Israel want to end the Palestinian cause; they want to erase the idea of Palestinian refugees. They want to pressure Jordan, the Palestinians and others to give into the demands of an imaginary peace process that benefits only Israel, and that is unacceptable.”
— Abdul Rahman Qanas, 52, a resident of the Baqaa, the largest refugee camp in Jordan


Vice President Mike Pence met with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Sunday, telling reporters afterward that they had “agreed to disagree” on the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The meeting in Amman, on the second day of Mr. Pence’s visit to the Middle East, came as tension has increased between the two allies over President Trump’s decision on Jerusalem last month and his decision last week to withhold aid to the United Nations agency that serves Palestinian refugees.

Speaking before the meeting with Mr. Pence at Al Husseiniya Palace in Amman, King Abdullah reiterated his support for “East Jerusalem as a capital of an independent Palestinian state living side by side with a secure and recognized Israel,” Petra, Jordan’s official news agency, reported.

Jordan is also home to more than two million Palestinian refugees who could be affected by the cut in American aid to the United Nations agency.

Mr. Pence said the two leaders had a “very frank discussion.”

“Look, friends occasionally have disagreements, and we agreed to disagree on the decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he said, according to The Associated Press. “But what we agreed on was the need for all parties to come back to the table.”

Mr. Pence had delayed his trip to the region amid the furor over Mr. Trump’s decisions, which were seen here as pro-Israel and a slap in the face to Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, canceled a meeting with Mr. Pence planned for this trip. The Trump administration said the delay was unrelated to the rising anti-American sentiment in the Middle East.

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