Kerry makes surprise stop in Jordan

(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

France’s AFP news agency reported that the visit on Friday, which had been confirmed by a U.S. spokeswoman traveling with Kerry, had not been previously announced.

It consisted of a short stop in the Red Sea port of Aqaba, where Kerry was scheduled to meet the king, AFP reported.

Israel and the Palestinians remain deadlocked in ongoing peace talks that Kerry helped to launch last July.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and to “abandon the fantasy” of flooding Israel with returning Palestinian refugees.

Palestinian negotiators have accused Netanyahu of sabotaging the peace process with construction in areas that Israel captured in 1967.

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