Abdullah, Putin discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace

Jordan's King Abdullah II and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday probed ways to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and discussed other Mideast issues, such as Iran's nuclear standoff and Iraq's raging sectarian violence. Putin arrived in Jordan late Monday, on the last leg of a three-nation Mideast tour. After a red carpet welcome at the hilltop Basman Palace, he was whisked away for closed-door talks with the Jordanian monarch. Putin was also to hold separate talks with visiting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas later Tuesday. Chief government spokesman Nasser Judeh said Jordan hoped Putin would help revive the Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking since "Russia is a sponsor of the peace process in the Middle East." Russia is part of the so-called Quartet of Mideast peace mediators who also include the United States, the European Union and the United Nations. During his tour, which included stops in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Putin said he planned to host a Mideast peace conference but gave no details.