Kerry in Jordan for Talks on Middle East Peace

U.S. secretary of state will meet King Abdullah in Aqaba.

Reuters
Reuters
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Aqaba, Jordan on Friday, in an unscheduled visit to discuss Middle East peace with Jordan's King Abdullah.

Kerry made the three-hour detour to the Red Sea resort of Aqaba from Rome, where he attended a conference on Libya and held meetings on the crisis in Ukraine.

"He is meeting with King Abdullah and Foreign Minister (Nasser) Judeh who came on the plane with us," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on the flight to Jordan.

Kerry is aiming to win agreement by late April between Israel and the Palestinians on a framework for a peace deal, although he has said a final accord could take another nine months or more.

While U.S. officials have declined to say what might go into such a framework, it appears likely to be an outline of possible outcomes on the core issues of borders, security, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Washington this week he wanted an accord, but he put the onus on Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state - something they have long refused to do.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is the main obstacle to a deal to create a Palestinian state.

Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets Jordan's King Abdullah II in Washington, Feb. 10, 2014. Credit: AP

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