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Jordan pushes for new Middle East Peace initiative
January 14, 2013, 5:02 pm

Jordan's King Abdullah II. [Getty Images]

Jordan’s King Abdullah II. [Getty Images]

Jordan is hoping to take advantage of what it says is a dwindling window of opportunity to revive the nearly dead Middle East Peace Process.

In an interview with the French publication Le Nouvel Observateur, Jordan’s King Abdullah II said his country is working with Arab and European allies to create an international coalition, which would sponsor the process.

King Abdullah said he hoped “to put some effective and workable ideas on the table that would enable the US to engage and play a leading role in the peace process soon after the start of the second term of President [Barack] Obama.”

Obama kicked off his first term by pressuring Israel to curb the growth of illegal settlements, but this approach was quickly abandoned.

Israel launched two major operations in Gaza as ideological differences continued to divide Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas.

A promise by former US President George Bush to create a Palestinian state by 2009 failed to materialise.

In November 2012, Fatah pursued and won a UN General Assembly vote to be recognised as a non-member observer state.

Israel responded by launching a massive campaign to expand and build more housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem, an area the Palestinians hoped would be the site of their future capital in a two-state solution.

King Abdullah’s interview came amid reports in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth that France and Britain were planning a plan of their own to restart peace negotiations.

The plan scheduled for this year adopts the two-state solution and has at its heart East Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital.

Yedioth Ahronoth speculates that the plan will become an EU initiative and will be introduced in March after Israeli elections and the formation of a new government.

The paper carried statements from former foreign minister and current Hatnua party Chairwoman Tzipi Livni who said she hoped that a new Israeli government could focus on a real peace process.

“In March the world will present us with a peace plan – gmeither it will be forced upon us or we come up with our own plan,” she was quoted as saying.

Source: Agencies