News Brief

Ehud Olmert met with Jordan’s King Abdullah in an unannounced visit.

Thursday’s meeting in the Jordanian coastal town of Aqaba was arranged to coordinate the Israeli and Jordanian positions on regional issues ahead of U.S. President George Bush’s visit to the region next week, according to Israel Radio. It was not announced in advance for security reasons.

During the meeting the Israeli prime minister told Abdullah that Israel will not build any new settlements nor appropriate any more land claimed by the Palestinians. Olmert repeated his desire to move toward a final peace settlement.

Abdullah urged Israel and the Palestinians to honor their commitments to the current peace process.

According to a statement from the Royal Palace, Abdullah told Israel “to halt unilateral activities that may obstruct progress” toward peace.

Jordan’s largest political party, the Islamic Action Front, condemned Olmert’s visit. Though Abdullah secretly visited former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the past, he has not accepted numerous invitations to visit Israel under the stewardship of Olmert.

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