Jordan's King Abdullah Calls on Israel, Palestinians to 'Seize the Occasion'
Jordan's King Abdullah II called on Israel and the Palestinians Saturday to "seize the occasion" of their upcoming summit in the United States to find a just and durable peace, officials said.
After a meeting Saturday night with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the king was quoted as stressing "the importance of seizing the occasion" in order "to reach a just, durable and comprehensive peace in the region, which has suffered so much the repercussions of conflict."
During the meeting, which covered preparations being made for the summit, the king also expressed hope that the summit would be "crowned with success," resulting in "important results permitting the initiation of peace in the region in light of resolutions of international law."
Barak will be meeting Palestinian President Yasser Arafat at the US presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, hosted by US President Bill Clinton, in an effort to put an end to more than 50 years of conflict.
The Jordanian statement said that the king and Barak discussed "the efforts made by the various parties concerned, notably the United States, for this summit to come to something."
Barak's meeting with the king lasted more than an hour and took place over a dinner, which was also attended by Jordanian Queen Rania and Barak's wife.
The Baraks were seen off on an Israeli helicopter by the royal couple following the meeting, without the prime minister making any statement.
Earlier Saturday, Arafat met with Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel-Ilah Khatib, who said Jordan stood behind the Palestinians in next week's three-way summit.
Jordan "supports the rights of the Palestinian people" and the creation of "an independent Palestinian state," Khatib told reporters after the meeting.
He gave Arafat a message from Abdullah reaffirming "the continuing Jordanian support for the Palestinian positions" on the peace process - AMMAN (AFP)
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