March 7, 2014 - 18:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Jordan on Friday, March 7, for talks with King Abdullah II on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, a U.S. spokeswoman said, according to AFP.
The brief stop in the Red Sea port of Aqaba, where the talks were held, was not previously announced.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Kerry, who arrived from Rome from where he also brought back his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh, would discuss the Middle East peace process with the monarch.
"We are arriving in Aqaba, Jordan, with Foreign Minister Judeh today to see King Abdullah to talk about the peace process," Harf said.
Jordan is one of only two Arab states to have signed a peace treaty with Israel, and King Abdullah holds a special position because the 1994 accord recognizes his country's "historic" role in caring for Muslim holy sites in east Jerusalem.
Last month, Jordan warned that it might review the peace treaty after Israeli MPs began a debate on allowing Jewish prayers at Jerusalem's sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound, saying the kingdom's custodianship was "not a privilege granted by Israel".
Israel and the Palestinians remained deadlocked in ongoing peace talks that Kerry helped to launch last July. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday urged Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and to "abandon the fantasy" of flooding it with returning Palestinian refugees.
His remarks sparked a furious reaction from the Palestinians, who denounced his demand and said it had effectively put the final nail in the coffin of the talks.