Aqaba meeting: agreement on the need to reduce escalation and stop establishing settlement outposts for a period of 6 months

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Israel and the Palestinian Authority stressed the need to reduce escalation, and their willingness to work on and stop unilateral measures, and to suspend the approval of establishing new settlement outposts for a period of 6 months, according to a joint statement issued by the parties participating in a Jordanian-sponsored meeting.

Senior officials from Jordan, Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United States met in Aqaba on Sunday. The five parties will meet again in Sharm el-Sheikh resort on the Red Sea coast next March to “achieve the goals” of the joint statement announced by the Jordanian Foreign Ministry.

The statement said that after thorough and frank discussions, the participants in the meeting announced the following:

1. The Palestinian and Israeli sides affirmed their commitment to all previous agreements between them, and work to achieve a just and lasting peace. They reaffirmed the need to commit to de-escalation on the ground and to prevent further violence.

2. The five parties stressed the importance of preserving the historical status quo in the holy places in Jerusalem in word and deed without change, and stressed in this regard the Hashemite tutelage / the special Jordanian role.

3. The Israeli government and the Palestinian National Authority confirmed their joint readiness and commitment to act immediately to stop unilateral measures for a period of 3-6 months.

This includes an Israeli commitment to stop discussing the establishment of any new settlement units for a period of 4 months, and to stop approving any new settlement outposts for a period of 6 months.

4. The five parties agreed to meet again in the city of Sharm el-Sheikh in the Arab Republic of Egypt next March to achieve the above-mentioned goals.

5. The participants also agreed to support confidence-building steps and enhance mutual trust between the two parties in order to address outstanding issues through direct dialogue. The Palestinian and Israeli sides will work in good faith to shoulder their responsibilities in this regard.

6. Jordan, Egypt and the United States consider these understandings as positive progress towards reactivating and deepening relations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, and are committed to helping facilitate their implementation as needed.

7. The participants stressed the importance of the Aqaba meeting, which is the first of its kind in years. They agreed to continue the meetings according to this formula, to maintain the positive momentum, and to build on what was agreed upon in terms of reaching a more comprehensive political process leading to the achievement of a just and lasting peace.

8. The participants thanked Jordan for organizing and hosting this meeting and for its efforts to ensure positive results. They also thanked Egypt for its support, essential role and active participation. They also thanked the United States for its important role in efforts to reach understandings that led to this agreement today, stressing its indispensable role in efforts to prevent deterioration and find prospects for peace.

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