Israel Negotiated with Jordan for Exchange of No Man’s Land Areas

The Israel Government is “greatly surprised” by the statement in Amman yesterday by Jordan Premier Tewfik Abdul Houda that “Jordan is not prepared to hand over certain areas to Israel,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman told newsmen today.

There never were any negotiations calling for Jordan to “hand over” any areas to the Jewish State, the spokesman said. He pointed out that all that has taken place has been a series of conversations pertaining to the exchange of no man’s land areas, in order to eliminate friction such as led to shootings in the Latrun region recently. These talks went on in normal fashion as late as last week, the Israeli spokesman reported, adding that it is surprising that the Jordan Premier “needed to use such anti-Jewish language for internal purposes.”

Asked whether Premier Abdul Houda’s statement would affect further Israel-Jordan talks, the Israeli spokesman said: “It depends on Jordan. We are always ready to negotiate for the benefit of both sides and to secure peace in both countries.”

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