Report: Netanyahu, Abdullah meet to discuss peace process

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah II met in Jordan to discuss the Middle East peace process.

The meeting took place last week, the French news agency AFP reported on Saturday, citing an anonymous diplomatic source. The source told AFP that the leaders discussed the Middle East peace process.

It is Netanyahu's first visit with a foreign head of state since the Jan. 22 national election. The meeting comes in advance of President Obama's visit to Israel and Jordan later this month.

Jordan last year sponsored meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in a failed attempt to jumpstart the stalled peace talks.

Netanyahu and Abdullah reportedly met in Amman in December to discuss chemical weapons in Syria's civil war.

AJC leaders meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah

Leaders of the American Jewish Committee in a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman discussed political and strategic developments in the Middle East.

The AJC Board of Governors delegation headed by AJC President Robert Elman met separately over the weekend with the king and three Jordanian Cabinet members. The 16-member group also met with Jordanian business leaders, policy analysts and diplomats, and the U.S. and Israeli ambassadors to the country.

“Jordan is a valued strategic partner of the United States: uniquely positioned, uniquely vulnerable to instability across the region — particularly in neighboring Syria, and steadfast in its cooperation on mutual interests,” Elman said.

“For two decades, Jordan has also been a strong partner for peace with Israel. AJC recognizes the vital role King Abdullah has played — and continues to play — as a voice for peace, and as a pragmatic leader in a turbulent region.”

Following its meetings in Jordan, which concluded Sunday, the delegation moved on to Jerusalem for a three-day AJC Board of Governors Institute.

Ban Ki-moon urges ‘maximum restraint’ after Israel-Hamas ceasefire

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Israel and Hamas to stick to pledges under a cease-fire deal which came into effect on Wednesday to end the eight-day conflict around the Gaza Strip.

“We urge the parties who agreed to the ceasefire to keep their promises. There may be challenges implementing this agreement,” Ban told reporters after talks with King Abdullah at the monarch's residence in the Jordanian capital.

Ban urged the two sides to exercise “maximum restraint.”

Abdullah: Jordan ‘last man standing’ for Israel

Jordan’s King Abdullah II said he would stand by his country’s peace treaty with Israel, although he expressed doubts about the Egypt-Israel peace.

“You have seen what has happened in Egypt [and] Turkey,” Abdullah told The Washington Post in an interview this week, referring to Israel’s deteriorating relations with both countries, particularly since the overthrow earlier this year of the Mubarak regime in Egypt. “We are actually the last man standing with our relationship with Israel.”

The king expressed doubts about the viability of Israel-Egypt peace in the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s removal, describing the prospect of an Egyptian abrogation of the peace treaty as a “very, very strong possibility.”

Abdullah said he would stand by the peace with Israel, and might even take a more active role in the peace process.

“Because of the loss of Egypt’s political leadership, the rest of us are having to step up,” he said. “On the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Jordan’s relationship with the Palestinians has had to take a step forward.”

Jordan to Netanyahu: Commitment to peace is not enough, take practical action

The ongoing impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is jeopardizing the security of the Middle East, Jordanian King Abdullah II told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Wednesday.

In a phone conversation initiated by Netanyahu, the monarch urged the Israeli leader to fulfill his commitment to peace by removing “obstacles” that impede the resumption of direct talks with the Palestinians.

“The monarch underlined the need for translating the commitment to peace into a practical action, by removing all obstacles that block the achievement of the two-state solution as the only way for achieving security and stability in the region,” said a royal statement following the call.


Abdullah: Israel undermining Jordan efforts on nukes

Israel has been pressuring other countries not to sell nuclear technology to Jordan, King Abdullah told The Wall Street Journal.

In the interview published Tuesday, Abdullah charged that Israel has been pressuring countries such as South Korea and France, calling the actions “underhanded.” He said the actions have contributed to bringing relations between Jordan and Israel to their lowest point since the 1994 peace agreement.

“There are countries, Israel in particular, that are more worried about us being economically independent than the issue of nuclear energy, and have been voicing their concerns,” King Abdullah told the newspaper. “There are many such reactors in the world and a lot more coming, so [the Israelis must] go mind their own business.”

Israel denied that it is trying to undermine Jordan’s efforts toward obtaining nuclear technology, the newspaper reported.

The United States is demanding that Jordan not produce its own nuclear fuel, according to the Journal, despite the fact that it has that right as a signatory to the United Nations’ Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

Jordan reportedly is eager to establish a nuclear program since it is 95 percent dependent on imported oil, according to the newspaper. In 2007, Jordan discovered at least 65,000 tons of uranium ore near Amman.