Photo: AP
King Abdullah of Jordan
Photo: AP
Photo: Gil Yohanan
PM Olmert - set out to meet Abdullah in secret
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Olmert, King Abdullah meet in secret

PM's Office announces Olmert met with King Abdullah in Amman, says two discussed situation in Palestinian Authority. Leaders agreed to meet in near future, strengthen ties between Israel and Jordan

While his opponants criticize him for closing the door to Syria and not meeting Palestinian President Abbas, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made his way Tuesday to Amman.


In the late afternoon on Tuesday the PM's office stated that he had met with Jordanian King Abdullah in secret earlier in the day.


Olmert's office issued a laconic report on the meeting, only saying that "the two leaders discussed the situation in the Palestinian Authority, agreeing to meet again and strengthen ties between Israel and Jordan."


The office did not report that Olmert had met with any other dignitaries while in Jordan.


The Associated Press reported that Olmert arrived in Amman following an invitation extended by the king, who insists on bringing about a breakthrough in the stagnation prevailing between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.


A source in the king's office said that during the meeting Abdullah stressed the need to enter negotiations in order to find a common denominator for resuming the peace process. The king also made it clear that the key for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies in convincing both sides that they are real partners in a fruit-bearing process.


Jordan's kind warned of wasting time and exchanging accusations between the two sides, as well as of hesitation in taking steps which will strengthen peace opportunities. According to Abdullah, missed opportunities would push the region into a circle of violence and everyone will pay the price.


'International community will stand by your side'

In the meeting with Olmert, the king added that the region's nations have already despaired of moving from one peace convention to another under different banners, without reaching any real outcomes.

According to him, the one-sided solution policy and imposing reality have failed. In this context, the Jordanian king added that a return to negotiations must be implemented by convincing both sides that they must reach a solution which will fulfill their nations' aspirations to live in peace and security.


If the Israelis and the Palestinians reach this conviction, he said, the international community will stand by their side in order to provide them with all the necessary assistance.


According to the Jordanian king, there will be no strong Palestinian partner as long as that partner is not provided with serious assistance from Israel, as well as from the international community.


The king stressed that all parties in the region will lose if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be solved soon and said that a two-state solution must be the basis to any future move to solve the dialogue, as this is the only logical solution for realizing the Palestinians' aspirations for the establishment of an independent states, and for obtaining security and stability for the Israelis.


The Jordanian king called on Israel to examine the Arab peace initiative seriously and positively, saying that the initiative served as appropriate ground for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on all levels.


According to the Jordanian news agency Petra, Prime Minister Olmert briefed the king on the steps Israel may take in the near future in a bid to resume the peace process with the Palestinians. Olmert said that both sides need the international community's support more than ever before in order to obtain peace.


Warning of stalemate

King Abdullah has warned repeatedly in the past of the dangers that lay in an Israel-Palestiniane stalemate. The Hashemite Kingdom is also concerned of a possible wave of Palestinian refugees moving eastward from the West Bank and threatening its existence.


The Jordanians also took particular issue with comments made by IDF officials saying that the current king will also be the last because of this.


Meanwhile, Industry, Trade, and Labor Ministry Director General Gabriel Maimon and his Jordanian counterpart Dr. Muntaser Oqala signed a deal to better supervise the implementation of the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) agreement.


It was agreed that the sides would move to a quarterly supervision method.


The QIZ agreement allows for duty-free export to the US of certain Jordanian goods that contain Israeli inputs.


The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry reported that Israeli exports to Jordan totaled USD 110 million during the first 11 months of 2006, marking a 10 percent increase from last year’s figures.


Most of the products exported to Jordan are used as raw materials for QIZ plants that export to the US. 


פרסום ראשון: 12.19.06, 15:40
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