Kerry to meet with Jordan’s Abdullah, Netanyahu in Amman


JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will hold a previously unannounced meeting in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Thursday evening meeting “will focus on ways to restore calm and de-escalate tensions in Jerusalem,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a tweet.

The Prime Minister’s Office reportedly would not comment on the meeting, though the palace in Jordan announced that it would take place.

Kerry met earlier Thursday in Amman with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, where they were expected to discuss the heightened tensions in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount there, as well as the prospects for restarting peace negotiations.

Abdullah and Abbas met Wednesday at the palace, during which Abdullah offered his “total rejection” of Israel’s “repeated aggressions and provocations in Jerusalem,” according to a palace statement reported by the AFP.

Kerry canceled a visit to the United Arab Emirates on Friday to participate in the Sir Bani Yas Forum, an annual gathering of world leaders and thinkers discussing peace and security issues.

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