US pro-Israel bias hurts peace process: Jordan official

The U.S., a longstanding sponsor of the Israel-Palestine peace process, is biased towards one party [i.e., Israel] at the expense of the other, Jordanian Parliament Speaker Atef al-Tarawneh said Monday.

According to Jordan's official PETRA news agency, al-Tarawneh made the assertion during a meeting held in Amman with Spanish Ambassador to Jordan Aranzazu Banon Davalos.

"This supposed sponsor of the peace process stands with one side at the expense of the other," PETRA quoted al-Tarawneh as saying.

The parliament speaker also described U.S. President Donald Trump's decision early last month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital as "shocking".

"Jerusalem is the key to a [permanent] settlement, he said.

The issue must be decided within the framework of a two-state solution that includes an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital," he added.

Al-Tarawneh went on to warn that the failure to reach a final peace settlement would keep the region foundering in turmoil and instability.

On Dec. 6, Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and ordered that preparations begin to relocate Washington's Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to the historic city.

The move sparked outcry across the Arab and Muslim world and a wave of protests in the Palestinian territories -- and numerous clashes with Israeli troops -- in which at least 19 Palestinians have been martyred.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Source: Anadolu Agency