The ongoing impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is jeopardizing the security of the Middle East, Jordanian King Abdullah II told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Wednesday.
In a phone conversation initiated by Netanyahu, the monarch urged the Israeli leader to fulfill his commitment to peace by removing "obstacles" that impede the resumption of direct talks with the Palestinians.
"The monarch underlined the need for translating the commitment to peace into a practical action, by removing all obstacles that block the achievement of the two-state solution as the only way for achieving security and stability in the region," said a royal statement following the call.
The Palestinians withdrew from U.S.-sponsored direct talks with Israel at the end of September, citing the Netanyahu government's failure to extend a moratorium on the building of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which Israel captured from Jordanian control during the 1967 Six-Day War.
The monarch urged the parties to refrain from wasting more time, saying they should immediately enter into "serious and effective negotiations in accordance with the agreed references in order to address all final status issues as soon as possible."
He pointed out that the talks should lead to the establishment of "an independent Palestinian state that lives in peace with Israel."
"The continuation of the present stalemate will jeopardize the region's stability and security," King Abdullah said.
In a parallel Jordanian effort, King Abdullah is sending his Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Thursday to Ramallah for talks with Palestinian leaders, apparently to encourage them to return to the negotiating table, officials said.
National security adviser Uzi Arad visited Jordan secretly on December 27 to meet with Judeh, who told Parliament on Wednesday that the discussions had dealt with chances of reviving the deadlocked peace process.
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