Jordan rejects alleged US proposal for confederation with Palestine
Jordan on Sunday rejected a proposal allegedly suggested by the Trump administration which called for the creation of a Palestinian-Jordanian confederation.
US officials working on a Middle East peace plan recently asked Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas about forming a confederation with Jordan, Abbas told Israeli activists and lawmakers on Sunday.
Abbas reportedly expressed interest in a tripartite confederation with Jordan and Israel during the meeting.
It is not clear when the conversation with Trump's Middle east advisers took place, though Abbas has declined to meet with the White House since US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December.
Jordanian government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said that joining the kingdom with the Israeli-occupied West Bank is not a matter that is open for discussion.
"Discussing the idea of a confederation with the regions of the West Bank is not possible," Ghneimat said, according to the Khaberni news agency.
Jordan's position is based on a two-state solution of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, she added.
Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeinah said the idea of a confederation with Jordan has been on the Palestinian leadership's agenda since the 1980s.
A two-state solution, however, is a prerequisite for any future shared arrangement with Jordan, he added.
A Palestinian-Jordan confederation has long been favoured by some on the Israeli right as a way to avoid granting full state status to the Palestinians for now.
In such an arrangement, Israel could also avoid taking responsibility for the some 3.5 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
Jordan annexed the West Bank and East Jerusalem following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, before losing the territories to Israel in 1967.
Palestinian leaders see US President Donald Trump's administration as blatantly biased in favour of Israel.
In addition to the Jerusalem recognition, Washington last week announced it was ending funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
The previous week, it announced it was cancelling more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians.
Trump has pledged to unveil a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, saying he wanted to reach the "ultimate deal".