TEL AVIV – Jordan’s Foreign Minister said Saturday that Arab countries would ensure Israel’s security in a future peace deal with the Palestinians as long as it withdraws from the West Bank.
During a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Ayman Safadi said “in order for Israel to live in peace with the Arabs, it is necessary for them to leave the territories occupied after 1967. So if this happens, the Arab countries will be ready to give security guarantees to Israel,” Russia’s state-sponsored Sputnik news agency reported.
Safadi did not explain what form those guarantees would take or explain how such a consensus was arrived at by leaders of countries which have invaded Israel on more than one occasion.
Safadi said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a key problem in the Middle East.
“We consider the settlement of the Palestinian problem as a core of tensions in our region. That is why we definitely plan to create additional conditions for security and stability in our region and in the whole world,” he said.
Israel maintains that withdrawal from the West Bank would greatly endanger the country because its borders would be indefensible.
Arab leaders recently met in Amman for the Arab League summit. They renewed their commitment to the 2002 Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II presented President Donald Trump with a summary of the summit when the two leaders met in Washington earlier this month.
In an interview with the Washington Post, the Jordanian king echoed Safadi’s words, saying, “the problem that is [standing] between the Arabs and the Israelis is the Palestinians. The whole point of our peace initiative is for us to be the guarantors of Israel’s security. If we can solve the Palestinian problem, then this is a new era of stability in our area, where Israelis are truly a part of the neighborhood.”
He added that issues such as Israeli settlements and Trump’s promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “give ammunition to the Iranians, to [Islamic State leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi and ISIS.”