AMMAN, Jordan -- Jordan announced Tuesday it will resume full relations with Egypt, ending a five-year diplomatic boycott imposed in retaliation for Cairo's 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
'The decision to resume full diplomatic relations with Egypt was taken during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ahmad Obeidat,' the state-run Jordan television said.
In Cairo, Egyptian television interrupted its normal nighttime programminng to announce that Jordan's King Hussein telephoned President Hosni Mubarak and informed him of his government's decision to renew relations. The television repeated the news several times and played patriotic music.
The Jordanian decision marked a major victory for Mubarak, who has struggled to end Egypt's isolation in the Arab world while observing the treaty with Israel.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy, who was in Cairo Tuesday for a talk with Mubarak, was scheduled to fly to Amman Wednesday for talks with Jordanian officials on how to revive the stalled Middle East peace process, Jordanian sources said.
Jordan was one of 17 Arab countries that severed diplomatic ties with Egypt after the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the peace treaty in 1979. Sadat was assassinated on Oct. 6, 1981, by Moslem fundamentalists.
Jordan's decision to restore relations with Egypt appeared to reflect Hussein's desire to join Egypt in searching for a comprehensive peace with Israel.
A Foreign Ministry statement said the decision reflected Jordan's 'appreciation' for Egypt's support of 'the struggle of the Arab people in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon' and its wish that the 'temporary estrangement' with Egypt should not turn into a permanent situation which Israel would exploit.
Egypt has been urging Jordan and the Palestine Liberation Organization to forge a unified position before opening talks with Israel.
After breaking off talks with PLO Chief Yasser Arafat on entering the peace process on the basis of President Reagan's 1982 peace proposal, Hussein said the United States had lost credibility and was no longer fit to be the sole Middle East peace mediator.
The Jordanian monarch instead endorsed a Soviet call for an international peace conference that would also be attended by the Soviet Union and the PLO. Israel and the United States have rejected the proposal.
Reagan's 1982 planwould give limited self-rule to Palestinians on the occupied West Bank in association with Jordan.
Israel radio reported Tuesday the Israeli government had no intention at present to reconsider the Reagan plan and quoted Prime Minister Shimon Peres as saying the previous government decision rejecting the initiative still stood.
In announcing its decision, Jordan broke ranks with the moderate Arab camp of Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia that conditioned the restoration of relations with Egypt on a unanimous vote to be taken in an Arab summit conference.
The decision to restore relations and exchange ambassadors was taken in principle during a visit by the Jordanian minister of the Royal court, Adnan Abu Odeh, last August.
Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan is due to visit Egypt next month and is now expected to discuss with Egyptian officials next stage of Egyptian-Jordanian relations, diplomatic sources said.