Jordan's king urges int'l support for Palestinian-Israeli negotiations

Jordan's King Abdullah II urged international support for upcoming Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, saying Monday that talks due December 12 must build on the successful outcome of the international summit held in the United States last week. Abdullah said during a closed-door meeting with visiting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that Palestinians and Israelis "must seize the opportunity provided by the Annapolis, Maryland, peace conference to achieve tangible progress in their peacemaking," according to a royal palace statement. He said it was necessary that the negotiations, slated to open December 12, would "lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state on their national soil in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," the statement added. Separately, Abdullah told visiting Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov that the Annapolis meeting constitutes a "starting point" for Palestinian statehood. Parvanov is on a three-day state visit to Jordan, where several agreements with Bulgaria were signed, including one which envisions close police cooperation in the two countries.