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Jordan to Israeli PM: Make peace with Palestinians

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2014 at 7:31 am •  Published: January 16, 2014

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's king called on visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to seize the moment and opportunity made possible under a U.S. diplomatic push to achieve a lasting and comprehensive settlement with the Palestinians, the Royal Palace said.

The appeal came during a surprise visit by Netanyahu, who held talks with Abdullah II on the latest in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The palace said the two talked behind closed doors about the "developments in the peace process" and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations sponsored by the United States.

The visit was not previously announced. Netanyahu made at least three similar visits to Jordan last year. There was no immediate comment in Israel on Thursday's visit.

Jordan maintains cordial relations with Israel under a peace treaty signed in 1994 — one of only two signed agreements the Jewish state has with an Arab nation.

Abdullah's talks with Netanyahu came a week after the king hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and days earlier, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The palace statement said the meeting with Netanyahu was significant because it coincided with a "critical period" in the negotiations. It did not elaborate, but added that Thursday's talks were part of Jordan's "cooperation with all the sides involved in the peace process."

The palace quoted Abdullah as urging Netanyahu to make use "and build on the opportunity made available by the consolidated efforts of the U.S. secretary of state to achieve tangible progress in the peace negotiations."

The ultimate goal, Abdullah added, is the establishment of an "independent and viable Palestinian state" with East Jerusalem as its capital. He stressed that Palestinian-Israeli final status negotiations touch on "higher Jordanian interests."

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