Jordanian king, Hamas discuss Palestinian state
Jordan's King Abdullah and officials with the Palestinian Hamas movement on Thursday discussed the potential parameters of a Palestinian state, in what observers describe as Amman's latest attempt to reach out to the Islamist movement, dpa reported.
Receiving a Hamas delegation headed by politburo chief Khaled Mishaal in Amman, King Abdullah discussed the establishment of a Palestinian state and securing refugees' "right of return" to their homeland, the Jordan state-run news agency Petra reported.
During the meeting, also attended by Jordan's Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, King Abdullah underlined Jordan's support for the establishment of a Palestinian state on 1967 boundaries - a condition Hamas has yet officially to endorse.
According to an Islamist source close to the proceedings, the King urged Hamas to accelerate its reconciliation with rival Fatah and throw its support behind a restart of peace talks with Israel.
The two sides also discussed potential refugee return policies should a Palestinian state be created, the source added.
An official source said the meeting is only the latest in an ongoing dialogue between Amman and Hamas that observers say comes as Jordan's official acknowledgement that the Islamist movement will play an integral role in any future Palestinian government.
Observers say the move also came as a "goodwill gesture" from the Royal Palace to the Muslim Brotherhood - Hamas's mother organization and Jordan's largest political movement - which has threatened to boycott the country's upcoming parliamentary elections.
Thursday's rare meeting marked the second between the king and Mishaal in less than six months and the third return trip for the Hamas chief, a Jordanian citizen, to the country since his 1999 expulsion.
One decade since Amman's closure of Hamas's political office, the Palestinian resistance movement maintains strong support among Jordan's 1.5 million Palestinian refugees.
Mishaal's previous visit earlier this year fueled rumors of Hamas relocating its political office from Damascus to Amman.
Hamas's potential return to Jordan was not among the topics discussed in Thursday's meeting, according to the official source.