Barak, Abdullah talk peace in Amman

Defense minister says Amman holds central position for peace.

Barak and Abdullah meet (photo credit: Ariel Harmoni, Defense Ministry)
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.
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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."