Netanyahu talks peace with Jordanian King Abdullah

Jan. 16, 2014 at 7:21 AM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made an unannounced visit to Jordan to discuss Palestinian peace talks with King Abdullah, Petra News Agency said.

The official Jordanian news agency reported Thursday's meeting was held after the king held separate talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to move the peace talks forward.

Netanyahu's office had no comment.

Reports of Netanyahu's visit came amid an Army Radio report saying the Israeli prime minister insists on keeping the Beit El, West Bank, settlement bloc as part of any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

The report quoted a source familiar with the peace talks as saying in recent talks with Kerry, Netanyahu cited a biblical connection to the Beit El area and stressed its historic importance.

If Israel maintains control of the Beit El settlement bloc, it would mean 13 percent of the West Bank would remain in Israel's hands. The report said Netanyahu has not offered the Palestinians a land swap for the area but has proposed buying portions.

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