Abbas says U.S. negotiators offered plan that includes federation with Jordan

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaking to the media in Berlin, April 19, 2016. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaking to the media in Berlin, April 19, 2016. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that Trump administration peace negotiators offered a peace plan that included forming a Palestinian-Jordanian confederation.

Abbas told members of the left-wing Peace Now organization and opposition Israeli lawmakers during a widely-reported meeting on Sunday that he told Trump advisors Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt that he would only agree to such a confederation if it was three ways and included Israel.

“I said to them: ‘Yes, I want a three-way confederation with Jordan and Israel.’ I asked them if the Israelis would agree to such a proposal,” Abbas said, according to a statement released by Peace Now after the meeting.

Jordan reportedly has rejected a confederation with the Palestinians and supports a two-state solution to the conflict.

Abbas also said that U.S. President Donald Trump, who he has met with several times, has assured him of his support for a two-state solution.

Abbas has said in recent days, including during the Sunday meeting, that he favours a demilitarized Palestinian state with its security guaranteed by NATO. He also echoed his position that the Palestinian refugee issue should be solved in such a way that does not overburden or threaten the existence of Israel, according to Peace Now.

Abbas also told his visitors that he occasionally meets with Israel Security Agency head Nadav Argaman, and that Palestinian and Israeli security forces work together daily.

Those in attendance at the meeting included new Peace Now executive director Shaqued Morag, Meretz MK Mossi Raz, and Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova. Palestinian media reported that unnamed members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government coalition also attended the meeting.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in a telephone briefing for a Jewish organization last week that a rollout of the Trump administration’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians is “not imminent.”

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