A delegation of top Jewish-American leaders is scheduled to meet the Jordanian king during a visit in Amman Tuesday, planning to discuss the recently failed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and the current regional unrests caused by the Arab Spring.
Some 100 delegates of the annual leadership mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish organizations, which this week takes place in Jerusalem, are to meet King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. Judeh last month hosted preliminary peace talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat. But after failing to yield tangible results, the talks were suspended.
“This is a turbulent time in the region, and we are delighted to be able to take this opportunity to visit the King and commend him for Jordan’s role – and his in particular – in supporting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and seeking to be a source of stability in a region in turmoil,” the Conference’s President Richard Stone and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement.
The delegates, representing more than 50 Jewish-American organizations, will discuss various issues with the Jordanian king and his foreign minister, including the Arab Spring, concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, and the “rise of extremism” across the Middle East, according to the statement.
The Conference’s leaders further expressed their appreciation of the “strong relationship” between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom. But bilateral relations have been frosty since Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in 2010. Just two months ago, King Abdullah offered a friendly welcome to Hamas’ political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal in Amman. It was Mashaal’s first official visit to Jordan in 13 years.
Tuesday’s visit is not the first time leaders of the Conference of Presidents meet in Jordan with King Abdullah. In February 1999, mere weeks after he succeeded his father, King Hussein, the newly crowned king met with delegates for about 20 minutes. This was during Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister.
During that meeting, King Abdullah said that “he looked forward to working” with Netanyahu and that he wants “to be considered a brother,” Hoenlein, who then served as the Conference’s executive vice chairman, told reporters.
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