Arafat Meets with Jordanian King on US Peace Plan
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat began a meeting Sunday with Jordanian King Abdullah II regarding the US Middle East peace plan immediately upon his arrival in Amman for a short visit.
During the meeting at a military air base in Marka, a suburb of Amman, Arafat was to inform the king of the results of his meeting with US President Bill Clinton in Washington on Wednesday, Palestinian ambassador to Jordan Omar Khatib told AFP.
Khatib added that the session was part of regular consultations between the Palestinian and Jordanian leadership.
Both Palestinians and Israelis have minimized the chance of reaching a final peace settlement based on US proposals before Clinton departs the White House on January 20.
Arafat met Saturday with Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb and Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah Khatib during a stopover in Amman on his flight back from a short trip to Oman.
Passions about the peace process are high in Jordan, where most people claim Palestinian ancestry and many street protests have been held in support of the Palestinian uprising since it started more than 13 weeks ago.
In the Jordanian parliament, 20 deputies introduced a petition Sunday demanding a special session in which to debate questions "tied to the Palestinian territories," specifically refugees and the repercussions for Jordan of a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, a parliamentary source said.
Nearly 1.6 million of the estimated 3.7 million Palestinian refugees live in Jordan, making the kingdom their largest host, according to the United Nations.
The majority hold Jordanian citizenship while 18 percent live in refugee camps.
Jordan estimates that it has spent "billions of dollars" on services for Palestinian refugees since the construction of its first refugee camp in 1949 -- AMMAN (AFP)
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