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Netanyahu, Jordan's King meet in Amman

From Kareem Khadder, CNN
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The two discussed recent developments in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
  • The meeting follows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's recent visit to the region
  • Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister, Palestinian President several times this month

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman on Thursday to discuss recent developments in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, officials said.

Netanyahu returned to Israel after the discussions, which also looked at economic cooperation between the two countries and other regional matters, one of his representatives said.

"The Prime Minister emphasized that Israel places a premium on security arrangements, including Jordan's interests, in any future agreement that will take into consideration the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, signed 20 years ago," Netanyahu's media adviser said.

The meeting follows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's recent visit to the region. Kerry met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Netanyahu in hopes of working out a framework agreement for the resumption of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

A statement from Jordan's royal court said the meeting came in the framework of "continuous consultation and coordination between the King and all the parties involved in the peace process, considering His Majesty's keenness on achieving tangible progress that meets the aspirations of the Palestinian people and at the same time protects the high interests of the Jordanian kingdom."

During his visit to Jerusalem this month, Kerry met multiple times with Abbas and Netanyahu. He declined to share details of the conversations with reporters but told them that progress was being made during the trip.

Kerry has floated a proposal based on five months of intensive consultations with Israelis and Palestinians since the resumption of the peace process last summer.

Defense minister comments

Earlier this week, U.S. officials reacted angrily to comments attributed to Israel's defense minister criticizing Kerry's efforts to broker a peace agreement.

The derisive remarks appeared in a popular daily Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, and reflect Moshe Yaalon's skepticism of the Kerry-led U.S. efforts "both in private conversations in Israel and in the U.S."

"American Secretary of State John Kerry, who turned up here determined and acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor, cannot teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians," Yaalon said, according to the paper.

Yaalon later issued an apology in a written statement sent to the media from the Defense Ministry.

Kerry defies the odds with intense drive for Middle East peace

CNN's Marie-Louise Gumuchian contributed to this report.

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