Jordan to host Dalia Itzik next week

Abdullah to meet US, Israeli, Arab activists in attempt to revive peace process.

dalia itzik 298 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
dalia itzik 298 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Acting President Dalia Itzik has not decided whether to accept an invitation to travel to Indonesia at the end of the month - a visit that would make her the highest-ranking Israeli to travel to the world's largest Muslim country since prime minister Yitzhak Rabin met there with Indonesian President Suharto in October 1993, on his way home from a trip to China. Knesset Speaker Itzik is set to visit Amman on Thursday. Israel and Indonesia do not have diplomatic relations but they do have trade ties, and Israel sent a planeload of supplies to Indonesian tsunami victims in 2005.
  • EU official sees hope for ME peace Vice Premier Shimon Peres visited there in the summer of 2000, when he was regional cooperation minister, and met with then-president Abdurrahman Wahid, with whom he had struck up a relationship. Wahid is on the international board of the Peres Peace Center. Political sources said a delegation of MKs would probably visit Jakarta but it was unlikely that Itzik would go. In Jordan, a group of MKs led by Itzik and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee head Tzahi Hanegbi will meet with Jordanian King Abdullah II, Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit and Foreign Minister Abdelelah al-Khatib. The ambassadors to the UN of Israel and Indonesia met last month. Indonesia is a member of the UN Security Council and its soldiers are serving in Lebanon as part of the UNIFIL forces. Itzik will be the top Israeli official to visit Jordan since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a surprise visit to Amman at Abdullah's invitation last December. "Itzik will visit Jordan at the king's invitation on Thursday for a few hours" to discuss efforts to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, officials at the king's palace said. Abdullah has been pushing for reviving the diplomatic process on the basis of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which last month won fresh backing during an Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia. Abdullah has called on Israel to respond positively to the Arab plan which he said offered a "rare opportunity" for peace brokering between Israelis and Palestinians. Separately, the Jordanian monarch is expected to meet Israeli, Palestinian and US peace activists on Monday and Tuesday, palace officials said. They did not provide the activists' names or give details about the upcoming meetings. AP contributed to this report.