Trade unions reject Jordan's participation in direct talks
Jordanian trade unions on Saturday rejected the country's participation in a six-way meeting in Washington next week for re-launching direct talks between the Palestinians and Israel, dpa reported.
"The government bears complete responsibility for such a decision because it represents a threat to Jordan's security, stability, unity and future," the Trade Unions Council said in a statement.
King Abdullah II has accepted an invitation from US President Barack Obama to attend a meeting in Washington on Wednesday, one day before direct talks are to begin between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
In addition to Obama and Abdullah, the meeting will also be attended by Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the representative for the Middle East quartet Tony Blair.
"Jordan's participation in the meeting implies giving up the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, accepting the judaizing of East Jerusalem and the eventual deportation of Palestinians in Israel," the statement said.
The council, which represents more than 150,000 members of Jordanian professional societies, alluded to Netanyahu's insistence last week on the recognition of the Jewish nature of Israel as a pre-condition for accepting the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Netanyahu's demands fuelled concerns in Jordan over an extremist Israeli doctrine that envisages the Hashemite Kingdom as an alternative homeland for Palestinians.
The royal court said that King Abdullah would have talks with Obama during which he would press for the accomplishment of the two-sate solution that should lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 lines, and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Trade Unions Council also called for the resignation of the cabinet of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, citing failure to carry out necessary political and economic reforms, and for the formation of a national unity government.