Obama to Host Jordan's King Abdullah at White House

Announcement comes one week after first Jordanian-mediated talks between Israeli and Palestinian envoys in months.

U.S. President Barack Obama will host King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House next Tuesday, in an effort to advance a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

According to a White House statement, Obama and King Abdulla II will discuss "a broad range of bilateral and regional economic and security issues during their Oval Office meeting," including their "shared goal of a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians."

King Abdullah, Obama - AP - sourced 10.1.12

The White House added that Obama "also welcomes the opportunity to underscore the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and Jordan, and to demonstrate support for the political reforms that King Abdullah II is leading to produce a government that is more transparent, inclusive, and responsive to the aspirations of the Jordanian people."

The announcement comes one week after the first Jordanian-mediated meeting between Israeli and Palestinian envoys in months, and just one day after the envoys' second meeting.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's envoy Isaac Molho met chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Amman last Tuesday. They then met for a second time on Monday. Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and representatives of the Quartet - the United States, Russia, the UN and the European Union - also attended Monday's meeting.

The prime minister's aides refused to give details of the talks but said another meeting is scheduled before the end of January.

Two Israeli sources familiar with the talks said the United States, Jordan and Quartet members were focusing their main efforts on preventing the recently resumed talks from being derailed. Their aim is to keep the parties talking after the three months allocated for discussions of border and security arrangements end on January 26.