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(photo credit: GPO)
Jordan's King Abdullah II said Monday he would soon make rare public contact with Israeli leaders in a bid to revive the stalled Middle East peace process.
Abdullah did not elaborate on whether he planned to host Israeli leaders or visit.
The king hosted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in June in an effort to get both leaders to open direct negotiations, but the effort failed.
Senior Jordanian government officials have insisted that relations with Israel are cordial and that the king, as well as other officials, hold frequent telephone exchanges with Israeli leaders.
"Jordan will make contacts with Israeli [leaders] in the coming period in addition to the regular contacts we hold with the Palestinians to encourage both sides to undertake steps that could bolster mutual confidence and contribute to moving their peace process forward," Abdullah said in a written statement.
He warned that that failure to reach peace with the Palestinians would threaten the region.
"Everyone [in the region], including the Israeli people, would pay the price, if no Palestinian state were established to meet the Palestinians' aspiration towards independence and freedom," Abdullah said.
He also urged Israel to "define its position regarding the formation of a Palestinian state" and warned the Palestinians of "divisions" ripping through the their society between Abbas's mainstream Fatah faction and Hamas.
"Such divisions will lead to foreign interference, weaken the Palestinian internal front and imperil Palestinian unity," he said.
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