Abbas Visits Jordan, Collaborates Over Kerry Plan
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas briefed Jordanian King Abdullah II Wednesday on Middle East peace negotiations, according to AFP, after US Secretary of State John Kerry failed to find a framework deal for final talks.
"The meeting with his majesty focused on exchanging views about unifying the Jordanian-Palestinian position on... Kerry's initiative," the palace quoted Abbas as saying after a meeting with the king, whose country has a peace treaty with Israel.
"Kerry is still providing ideas, which we are discussing. He will come again soon. We continue to meet with his aides until ideas mature and before he comes up with a framework for the agreement," Abbas added, without elaborating.
Kerry left the region on Monday following four days of intense meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders, during which he failed to broker agreement on a framework to guide the talks forward.
Israeli media say Kerry, who kicked-started nine months of direct peace negotiations in July after a three-year hiatus, is due back in the region next week.
The news follows reports Friday that one of King Abdullah II's closest advisors has demanded a Jordanian presence in talks.
"Jordan needs to be present and involved in all future negotiations," stated former Prime Minister Marouf al-Bahit. He is currently the deputy head of the King's Council, an advisory board closest to the monarch.
"It is unthinkable that Jordan should sit on the side, as an observer. Jordan should join the negotiating table immediately - since it is bound to be the one paying the price of the Israeli and American positions."