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Jordan, Palestine sign 8 cooperation agreements

Apr 23,2014 - Last updated at Apr 23,2014

AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Wednesday reiterated Jordan’s support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, foremost of which the establishment of an independent state.

During a meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Ensour also voiced the Kingdom’s keenness on furthering cooperation with Palestine in all fields.

Abbas briefed Ensour on the latest political developments concerning the US-brokered Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations.

The Palestinian president also said that more openness with Arab and Islamic nations, mainly Jordan, is a priority for Palestinians in the next stage.

The two sides stressed the vital role of the private sectors in exploring prospects for further cooperation between the two countries. 

Also on Wednesday, Ensour co-chaired the meetings of the fourth session of the Joint Jordanian-Palestinian Higher Committee with his Palestinian counterpart Rami Hamdallah, which concluded with signing eight agreements, memoranda of understanding and executive programmes in the fields of industry, protection of national products, agriculture, health, civil defence and meteorology. 

In the presence of Abbas, Ensour and Hamdallah signed the minutes of the meetings before they held a joint press conference. 

Ensour stressed, in his remarks to the press, on the efforts His Majesty King Abdullah exerts to promote and garner international support for the Palestinian cause, noting that a significant part of His Majesty’s international contacts, speeches and discussions are dedicated to this cause.

“Our visit to Palestine sends an unmistakable signal that we support you and every effort that would ensure Palestinians a normal life,” the premier told the Palestinian officials.

He said that deals signed Wednesday serve that purpose.

On a different note, Ensour urged the Palestinian Authority, “which is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people”, to take moves towards national concord and called on other Palestinian factions to “join the PA as it crosses this threshold”. 

He criticised the Israeli siege of Palestinian land, in Gaza and the West Bank, as a violation to international law and humanitarian principles.

He said that the agreements signed between the two sides would be followed by others, which are in the pipeline. 

 

Jerusalem

 

In response to a question, Ensour stressed that Jordan recognises Palestinians sovereignty over “every square millimetre” in East Jerusalem, including Al Haram Al Sharif compound, which is under the custodianship of Jordan according to an agreement the King signed with Abbas last year, renewing a role the Kingdom has assumed since 1923.

The administration of the holy Muslim sites in the Old City is also stipulated in the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty.

“Jordan does not compete with the Palestinians for sovereignty over East Jerusalem,” he said, asserting that the Hashemite custodianship of the Islamic third holiest shrine and other sacred sites in the occupied city will stay “and be passed over from a generation to another”.

 

Peace process 

 

Ensour reiterated that Jordan is constantly kept abreast of developments in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, indicating that Amman and Ramallah are keeping channels open for consultations, while Jordan and the US are also coordinating regarding the peace process.

He voiced regret that the negotiators would not reach a peace agreement before the April 29 deadline, according to a schedule set by US Secretary of State John Kerry.    

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