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Jordan's Abdullah, Obama talk Mideast peace

Arab World Materials 18 January 2012 03:51 (UTC +04:00)
Jordanian King Abdullah told US President Barack Obama Tuesday that he was hopeful about recent Jordanian-led exploratory talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, dpa reported.
Jordan's Abdullah, Obama talk Mideast peace

Jordanian King Abdullah told US President Barack Obama Tuesday that he was hopeful about recent Jordanian-led exploratory talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, dpa reported.

"Although this is still in the early stages, we have to keep our fingers crossed and hope that we can bring the Israelis and Palestinians out of the impasse," Abdullah said in brief remarks after meeting with Obama at the White House.

Jordan is currently hosting a series of exploratory talks between the Palestinians and Israel with the aim of reaching a common ground that enables the two sides to resume the direct talks that faltered 16 months ago.

Israeli and Palestinian envoys met in Amman over the weekend, for the third time since Jordan began mediating a series of direct talks early this month. They agreed to meet again on January 25, a day before the Palestinians were expected to decide whether to stop or continue the discussions.

The Palestinians see January 26 as a deadline, after which they could declare the talks a failure and renew their diplomatic activity at the United Nations.

Obama told reporters that the leaders had discussed Jordan's efforts to encourage the sides "to come back to the table and negotiate in a serious fashion a peaceful way forward."

They also discussed the ongoing violence in Syria and Abdullah's calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

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