Itzik goes to Amman


Israel’s Knesset speaker, the Palestinian Authority president and Jordan’s foreign minister met in Amman in a bid to jump-start Israeli-Arab peace.

Sunday’s discussions involving Israel’s Dalia Itzik, P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s Abdul-Illah al-Khatib focused on restarting Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and the Arab peace initiative, which envisions Arab states recognizing Israel in exchange for all the lands Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The talks were held in a “warm atmosphere,” an Israeli Embassy official told The Associated Press. The official said Itzik and al-Khatib also discussed the agenda for their meeting Wednesday in Israel that will also include Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The Arab peace initiative is expected to be the focus of those talks.

Jordan’s King Abdullah is scheduled to meet President Bush in Washington on Tuesday. Tony Blair, the newly appointed Middle East envoy for the Quartet – the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union – is set to hold talks with al-Khatib in Amman on Monday and with Abbas in Ramallah on Tuesday.

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