Jordan and the Palestinian Cause

Future Status of Jordan and the West Bank

As for the talk about defining a specific framework for the Jordanian-Palestinian future relationship, we have stated repeatedly that this is premature. To act in haste, by entering into the details of this distinctive relationship, would not serve the interests of either side.

Address to Mo’tah University
Karak, Jordan
May, 1996


President Arafat has told me time and again that he has plans for a confederation in his pocket, and I have told him to keep it in his pocket until such time as Palestinians are able to express themselves freely. I hope they will, and then we can look.

Interview with Cherwell (Oxford University newspaper)
March 1, 1996


I will not address the final shape of Jordanian-Palestinian relations until our Palestinian brethren restore their rights on their national soil, and are able to decide under conditions of full freedom to enter into a dialogue on the form of relations they want. . . . My position on this is firm, as was my position in negotiating with Israel, that we will not sign a peace treaty first and then start negotiating. First we negotiate and if we agree on everything we sign the peace treaty.

Palestinians are the closest to us and we are the closest to them . . . but we have had it with doubts and suspicions.

Interview with Al-Hayat newspaper
February 19, 1995


Again, the talk about confederation, federation, the United (Arab) Kingdom, and I do not know what else! All this is senseless talk. What is going to be decided eventually will be decided by free people who are able to make decisions, and not what this or that person proposes now or at any time.

Remarks to the Jordanian Cabinet and House of Representatives
July 4, 1994


In this context, we would point to the copious debate on the possible forms of future Jordanian-Palestinian relations, starting with the United Arab Kingdom project which we suggested in 1972 and moving up to the confederal union. It is certain that under all circumstances, Jordanian-Palestinian relations will remain strong and distinctive, reflecting the bond of our common brotherhood, struggle, suffering and hopes. Let the debate, then, be linked to the people's will to begin with. Let us then look at the entity which our Palestinian brethren could achieve on their national soil in the wake of the recent agreement, and through our cooperation with them and support for them at all levels. We would then examine what could transpire among the people as more basic rights, freedoms and responsibility are exercised, more participation in the administration of their affairs and more respect for pluralism in society become available to our brethren. At that point, we could launch any form of unitary project—with a free will that would ensure its viability— which could be the beginning of a new and comprehensive pan-Arab project.

Address to the Nation
October 12, 1993