Barak and Abdullah meet.
(photo credit: Ariel Harmoni, Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with King Abdullah II of
Jordan on Wednesday, in the run-up to the
Israeli-Palestinian summit next week in Washington. The two met in Abdullah's palace in Amman, and discussed
the peace process and Israel's relations with its neighbors.
Barak said that Jordan holds a central position in the search for
regional peace and in aiding Israel and the Palestinians to reach an
agreement. The defense minister added that peace is a strategic goal for
Israel and that Israel expects the Palestinians will arrive in
Washington with an open heart to negotiations.
'We can reach a stable peace for us and our children'
Guess who's coming to dinner
Erekat rejects fortnightly meetings plan
King Abdullah, Mubarak to attend direct talks launch
King Abdullah emphasized that the engagement in negotiations must be
serious and honest in order to give as quick a resolution as possible to
all the central issues which separate the parties. Abdullah added that
regional peace will start with the achievement of a solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "This would give a real guarantee to
regional security and stability," said Abdullah. "Achieving peace in the
Middle East is a regional and international strategic interest.
Everyone should therefore exert their influence and make every effort in
order to make negotiations succeed as fast as possible."
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke about the
chances for peace
. Netanyahu sounded optimistic about the chances for
peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority ahead of
his trip to a peace summit in Washington.
"I am convinced that if the Palestinian leadership approaches these
talks with the same degree of seriousness as we will be able to advance
toward a stable agreement that will ensure peace and security for both
peoples and will contribute to the security and stability of the
region. I am aware of the difficulties; I do not make light of them. I
know that there will be many potholes, but the basic question is
whether the Palestinian side will be as willing as the Israeli side to
advance towards a peace that will resolve this conflict for generations
to come," Netanyahu said during the weekly cabinet meeting."