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Jordan sees independent Palestine as global interest

Feb. 14, 2014 at 9:22 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Setting up an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital is in the "international interest," Jordan's King Abdullah II said in Washington.

The Jordanian monarch arrived in the United States earlier this week to meet with senior U.S. defense officials, treasury representatives and delegates from Israeli support groups.

During the meetings, Abdullah said the lingering Israeli-Palestinian issue was central to widespread peace in the Middle East.

"The establishment of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil ... with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace and security alongside Israel is a regional and international interest that requires doing everything necessary to realize this goal," he was quoted by the official Jordan News Agency as saying Thursday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met in Washington with the visiting monarch. Hagel's spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, said both sides discussed "a host of regional security issues."

Abdullah met Friday with President Obama in California, though no statement was issued from the meeting.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Obama next month in Washington.

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