Jordan, Saudi Arabia urge "immediate halt" to Israeli attacks
( dpa ) - Jordan and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday urged an "immediate halt" to Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, and warned that the continuation of such polices would "derail" peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
The call was issued after talks in Riyadh between Jordan's King Abdullah II and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
The two Arab leaders in a statement called for "an immediate halt to the Israeli violations against the Palestinian people, lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip and a cessation of the settlement activities."
At least 18 Palestinians and a Reuters photographer were killed in Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. Three Israeli soldiers were also killed in a Palestinian ambush.
Jordan and Saudi Arabia warned that "the continuation of the unilateral Israeli policies will derail efforts being made to salvage the peace process."
King Abdullah II was in the middle of a whirlwind visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss progress in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which US President George W Bush hopes will be completed by the end of this year.
"The failure to achieve a real and serious progress towards this end will push the region to more violence and instability," the two monarchs said.
On Lebanon, the two leaders urged all Lebanese powers "to surmount divisions and reach compromise on the election of a new president in accordance with the Arab League plan."
Lebanon has been unable to agree on a new president since the pro- Syrian Emile Lahoud stepped down at the end of his term in November 2007.