Ahead of renewed direct talks with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday restated what he said were essential components of a peace agreement, chief among them recognition of Israel as the Jewish homeland. Netanyahu is to meet Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas in Washington on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu stated an agreement would have to be based "first of all on recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, an end to the conflict and an end to further demands on Israel."According to Netanyahu, he will also be seeking "real security arrangements on the ground."
Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met in Amman on Sunday for talks ahead of the Washington summit, the royal palace and Barak's office said, according to AFP. A statement from Barak's office quoted him as telling Abdullah that Jordan had a central role to play in regional peace efforts.