Alwaght- The tripartite Egypt-Jordan-Palestinian Authority (PA) summit started on Thursday in the Egyptian capital Cairo with the presence of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, Jordanian King Abdullah II, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. According to media reports, the meeting focused on common issues, uniting the positions of Egypt, Jordan, and the PA in order to pursue political movements on the international arena, and trying to revive the so-called peace process. On the other hand, the meeting is taking place while some diplomatic sources have talked about the new White House plan called "long-term peace with Palestine", in which Egypt and Jordan have been given a prominent role. Meanwhile, the new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will fly to Egypt soon to meet with the Egyptian leader, something making the goals of the Cairo summit important for the Palestinians.
The Egyptian presidency said in a statement that el-Sisi and Abbas met to discuss the latest developments in the Palestinian issue and the peace process in the region, and to continue consultations and increase alignment between the two sides on issues of common importance in order to coordinate next steps on the Palestinian cause.
Alwaght talked to Misaib Naeemi, an Arab world affairs expert, asking him about the goals of Cairo summit and what is happening around it.
Summit mainly demanded by Jordan
Asked about the objectives behind the summit, Mr Naeemi said that we first need to look at the overall regional conditions and also the issues and problems Jordan has ahead. Jordan, which has been troubled economically and is facing security issues caused by the Israeli violations near its borders, is the main architect of Cairo meeting. The country's political officials hope that, given Cairo's proximity to the US, as well as el-Sisi's ties to the Israeli regime, they will be able to stabilize the borders and solve some of their economic problems.
"Jordan is in dire need of Washington's economic assistance, but as a result of recent developments in Afghanistan, the White House has shifted its focus to the Central Asian region. So, Amman is now seeking to regain closeness to Washington through Cairo."
Amman presence at the meeting a direct demand from Amman
When asked why Jordan king was invited and the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE were not, Mr Naeemi answered: "We can say that the main reason for Jordan proposal for the summit is addressing the Amman economic challenges that include foreign debts, high unemployment, and slow growth. So, at present not only it is not necessary to invite Saudi Arabia and the UAE but also is illogical."
Mr Naeemi continued that in recent years, Jordan has relied on US financial assistance as well as promises of Arab assistance to solve its economic problems, and now intends to use Egypt and the recent summit as a powerful tool to achieve this goal. In the meantime, it is noteworthy that the oil-rich countries of the Persian Gulf desperately need the approval and green light of the US in the discussion of financial assistance to Jordan. So, it seems that the main emphasis of Amman is to get Cairo for mediation with Washington.
"In general, it can be said that Jordan's presence at the Cairo summit and the absence of Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were mostly due to the direct request of the King of Jordan."
Cairo summit members not supportive of Biden peace initiative
The expert of Arab world affairs was asked if the Cairo meeting means their welcome and support to the new Biden initiative for the Palestinian cause. He responded that essentially the "long-term peace" initiative is not Biden's and before that in 2008 President George W. Bush raised the idea for forming two independent states and ending the dispute between the two sides for a long time. Bush administration believed that war was over and two independent states should coexist in an atmosphere of peace. The history, however, showed how this initiative was unsuccessful and born no result.
"The fact is that as long as the Israeli regime continues its policy of expansionism and occupation, any peace plan put forward by the Biden administration or someone like Donald Trump will be doomed to failure. In the current situation, the parties present at the Cairo meeting are aware that any peace plan that must be presented by Biden government will not work unless the behavior of the Israeli regime changes. So, any talk of these actors welcoming Biden's plan would be more like a fallacy."
Cairo summit not of deep influence on Palestinian equations
Commenting on the effects of the summit on the intra-Palestinian negotiations and the Israeli-Palestinian tensions, Mr Naeemi held that all signs and pieces of evidence show that Cairo meeting cannot leave considerable impact on the home Palestinian equations and the Israeli dispute with Palestinian resistance body.
"Given the fact that the Palestinian case and Biden peace initiative were not particularly addressed at it, the consultative meeting essentially cannot influence the Palestinian home and external equations."