Hussein Supports Palestinian State

Jordan’s King Hussein this week expressed support for an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Hussein made the comment while speaking to reporters Sunday at Amman Airport, where he saw off Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who had been on a visit to Jordan.

During his stay in Jordan, Arafat met with members of the Palestine National Council, the parliament in exile, to discuss the Jan. 20 elections in which Arafat won nearly 90 percent of the vote to become the elected head of the Palestinian self-rule areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Jordan now has custodianship over Islamic holy sites in eastern Jerusalem.

Hussein has already said he would be willing to discuss that role once Israel and the Palestinians negotiate the final status of Jerusalem. Permanent-status talks between Israel and the Palestinians are set to begin in May.

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