PARIS (Apr. 13)
King Hussein of Jordan will meet with France’s President Francois Mitterrand next week to try to obtain European backing for a new Middle East peace plan that would combine local elections in the Israeli-administered territories, as proposed by Israel, and an international peace conference, as advocated by the Arab world.
Hussein, who conferred Wednesday in Jordan with Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, will meet Mitterrand on Monday while on his way to the United States. The Jordanian monarch is due to meet with President Bush on April 19.
Diplomatic sources say Hussein and Mubarak have reportedly decided not to reject Israeli Prime Minister Shamir’s proposal for elections in the territories. Instead, Hussein reportedly will ask for additional clarifications and try to combine this proposal with that of an international peace conference.
The sources say that an international conference is envisioned as the second phase of the new Arab peace plan, following elections in the territories.
Although no details of the plan have been made public, it is believed that it calls for a Palestinian delegation that would be made up of both Palestine Liberation Organization officials and the Palestinian representatives elected from the territories.
The sources say that Hussein and Mubarak feel that top priority must be given to keeping the peace momentum going to avoid a stagnation in the American-Palestinian talks in Tunis and a freezing of the current situation.