Livni holds talks with Jordanian counterpart in Amman

Mark Regev: Israel wants to "hear from the Jordanians about their ideas on how to best move forward."

livni big head 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
livni big head 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held discussions with her Jordanian counterpart Sunday on ways to restart peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Livni's spokesman Ido Aharoni told The Associated Press that the foreign minister met with her Jordanian counterpart Abdul-Illah al-Khatib for 90-minutes behind closed doors at an isolated Dead Sea resort before returning to Israel. He said he could not give details on the talks. "I can only say that the discussions revolved around the regional picture," he said, without elaborating. Journalists were denied access to the meetings, and Jordanian government officials could not be reached for comment. In Israel ahead of Livni's visit to Jordan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Israel wants to "hear from the Jordanians about their ideas on how to best move forward." Jordan's King Abdullah II, a moderate US ally and an advocate of a peaceful Arab-Israeli settlement, has been pushing for reviving the peace process on the basis of a 2002 Arab peace plan, which won fresh backing during an Arab summit in Saudi Arabia last month. The king has urged his Israeli neighbor to respond "positively" to the plan, saying it offered a "rare opportunity" for peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians. The initiative envisages full Arab recognition of Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal from territories captured in the Six Day War. It also calls for Palestinian statehood. Olmert has praised the plan, calling its full recognition of Israel a major breakthrough in Arab relations with the Jewish state. But he has flatly rejected the plan's demand for the return of Palestinian refugees displaced in wars. On Saturday, Jordanian palace officials said the kingdom would separately host US, Israeli and Arab officials and peace activists later this week as part of the push to revive Mideast peacemaking. Palestinian officials said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was scheduled to arrive in Jordan late Sunday and meet Abdullah on Monday. Abdullah also was due to host Knesset speaker Dalia Yitzik on Thursday.