Jordan's king meets Rice, calls for continuing peace talks

Other News Materials 8 November 2008 03:18 (UTC +04:00)

King Abdullah II of Jordan met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Red Sea port of Aqaba on Friday, stressing the need for continuing peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians despite US and Israeli elections, dpa reported.

"The monarch underlined the need for continuing negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians to reach a comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution despite the new developments relating to the US and Israeli elections," a royal court statement said.

King Abdullah also urged the "speedy involvement of the new US administration" led by president-elect Barack Obama in the Middle East peace process with a view to "building on what has been already achieved."

The Jordanian leader reiterated his country's "rejection of all Israeli steps at the Magharebah Gate in Jerusalem that could undermine the Islamic nature of the site."

"Jordan is determined to protect the holy shrines in Jerusalem in compliance with its historical role in this respect," the statement quoted King Abdullah as telling Rice, who visited Jordan as part of a regional tour.

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. However, under the peace treaty which the two countries concluded in 1994, Israel acknowledged Jordan's right to look after both Islamic and Christian holy places in the holy city.

Rice briefed the king on the outcome of the talks she held over the past two days with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the statement said.