Jordan’s king tells Trump adviser peace can only come with a Palestinian state

Jordan’s King Abdullah meets with Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner in Amman, Jordan, May 29, 2019. (Yousef Allan/Royal Palace/Handout via Reuters)
Updated 30 May 2019
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Jordan’s king tells Trump adviser peace can only come with a Palestinian state

  • Jordan stands by a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • This exposed a rift with the US as the Trump administration tries to rally Arab support for a peace conference in Bahrain

AMMAN: US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner on Wednesday met Jordan’s king on the second leg of a mini-regional tour aimed at finding support for his Israel-Palestinian peace plan, the royal palace said.
King Abdullah II insisted on the “need to intensify efforts to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace based on the two-state solution that would guarantee the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.”
Presidential advisers Kushner and Jason Greenblatt met with King Abdullah and the official Petra news agency said the two parties “discussed regional developments, especially efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
The remarks, which were carried in a palace statement, were made in the presence of Kushner.
Kushner, who is seeking support for his long-delayed but controversial Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, arrived in Jordan from Morocco, where he met King Mohammed VI. Moroccan officials declined commenting on Kushner’s visit.


He is scheduled to travel to Israel next.
The Moroccan king chairs the Al-Quds Committee, an organization that brings together supporters of the Palestinian cause in the Arab world.
It was created by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation to work for the preservation of the religious, cultural and urban heritage of Jerusalem.
The United States is expected to roll out the economic aspects of the peace plan at a conference in Bahrain on June 25-26.
Dubbed “Peace for Prosperity,” the Bahrain gathering is expected to bring together leaders from several governments, civil society and the business sector.
Jordan, a key US ally, has not yet said whether it will attend the June 25-26 meeting in Manama, capital of Bahrain. The Palestinians have already said they will not attend the summit and have rejected the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan out of hand.
They have boycotted the US administration since Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
Kushner has said the conference will focus on the economic foundations of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The conference will not include core political issues, such as Palestinian statehood.
Trump’s office said the conference was a “pivotal opportunity... to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”
The Palestinians see this as offering financial rewards in exchange for accepting ongoing Israeli occupation.
“Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected,” said Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Reliant on American political and military support, it will be difficult for Jordan reject the invitation. But with most of its people of Palestinian descent, it will be difficult to embrace a plan that does not include a Palestinian state.

The meeting in Rabat focused on developments in the Middle East and North Africa as well as strengthening the partnership between Morocco and the US, a palace spokesman told AFP.
Greenblatt tweeted that he and Kushner shared an iftar dinner — the traditional meal to break the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan — with Morocco’s king, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
“Thank you to His Majesty for a special evening and for sharing your wisdom,” Greenblatt wrote. “Morocco is an important friend & ally of the United States.”


Iranian bread permanent guest at Kuwaiti tables

For decades, Taftoon bread has been a staple of Kuwaiti dinning tables. (AFP)
Updated 17 July 2019
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Iranian bread permanent guest at Kuwaiti tables

  • Taftoon has remained popular in Kuwait despite escalating tensions in the past year between Iran on one side and the US on the other

KUWAIT CITY: Khalil Kamal makes sure he regularly visits Kuwait’s popular Souq Al-Mubarakiya, where he enjoys his favorite kebab meal with onion, rocket and freshly baked Iranian bread.
The smell of the bread wafts through the market as it bakes in a traditional oven at the Al-Walimah restaurant in downtown Kuwait City.
The restaurant’s Iranian baker takes one of the many dough balls lined up in front of him and spreads it over a cushion, using the pad to stick the dough against the inside wall of the clay oven.
Once ready, he uses a long stick to reach in and pull out a steaming rounded loaf, served piping hot to customers.
For decades, Iranian bread — known as taftoon — has been a staple of Kuwaiti breakfast, lunch and dinner tables.
“Iranian bread is the only bread we’ve known since we were born,” 60-year-old Kamal told AFP.
Hassan Abdullah Zachriaa, a Kuwaiti of Iranian origin, opened Al-Walimah in 1996. Its tables are spread across a courtyard, surrounded by wooden columns and entryways.
Zachriaa, in his 70s, said the restaurant puts out between 400 and 500 loaves of Iranian bread a day.
“The big turnout in Kuwait for Iranian bread stems from the fact that for decades, our mothers used to make it at home,” he told AFP.
“We then started to buy it from bakeries and stand in lines to get it fresh and hot in the morning, noon and evening.”
The flat bread is offered alongside many dishes popular in Kuwait such as Al-Baja, lamb bits stuffed with rice, Al-Karaeen, cooked sheep feet, classic chickpea plates, or beans and cooked fish.
Almost all restaurants in the old market have their own traditional clay ovens where either Iranian or Afghan bakers work.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Taftoon is offered alongside many dishes popular in Kuwait such as Al-Baja, lamb bits stuffed with rice.

• Almost all restaurants in the old market have their own traditional clay ovens where either Iranian or Afghan bakers work.

• The bread has remained popular in Kuwait despite escalating tensions in the past year between Iran on one side and the US on the other.

• Bakeries specializing in Iranian bread began popping up in Kuwait in the 1970s and have since expanded to more than 100.

Derbas Hussein Al-Zoabi, 81, a customer at Al-Walimah, said many Kuwaitis were raised on Iranian bread.
“Since childhood, Iranians baked bread for us ... and we used to eat it in the morning with milk and ghee” — clarified butter.
Other than at street markets, Kuwaitis can buy Iranian bread from co-ops, where people line up in the early hours of the morning and again in the evening to get the freshly baked goods.
Some bakeries even have designated segregated entryways for men and women.
Some Kuwaitis customise their orders with spreads of sesame, thyme and dates, and many come prepared with cloth bags to keep the bread as fresh as possible on the trip home.
Bakeries specializing in Iranian bread began popping up in Kuwait in the 1970s and have since expanded to more than 100, according to deputy chief of the Union Co-operative Society Khaled Al-Otaibi.
“These bakeries produce 2 million loaves of bread a day to meet the needs of Kuwaitis and residents,” he told AFP.
“They receive fuel and flour at a subsidised price so that bread is available for not more than 20 fils (less than seven cents).”
The price however can go to up to 50 fils depending on the amount and type of additives, including sesame and fennel.
Taftoon has remained popular in Kuwait despite escalating tensions in the past year between Iran on one side and the US on the other.