Jordan’s King Abdullah meets US vice President Pence, urges him to reconsider moving the US-embassy to Jerusalem

Jordan’s King Abdullah held a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis, becoming the first Arab leader to engage in direct consultations with the new American Administration of President Donald Trump. During his meeting with vice President Pence, the Jordanian King raised the topic of moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, urging the new American Administration to reconsider such a move. Abdullah also emphasized the importance of finding a solution to the decades old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, stressing that Washington’s involvement was paramount to its success.

Israel and Jordan have signed a peace treaty in 1994, an accord that provided the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan the custodianship of all Muslim holy places in Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, and set a foundation to finding a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. If the US Embassy would move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it would in effect declare Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel, a symbolic move that would reject both Jordanian and Palestinian claims to the ancient city, a reality both Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are trying to avoid.