During the two-day visit the king will also hold talks with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on ways to bolster ties between the two countries as well as the situation in Iraq, an official in the Jordanian capital Amman said.

  

"The essence of the visit is to discuss the roadmap" and Russia's position on the international peace blueprint, the official said.

 

In October, Russia circulated a new UN draft resolution calling on Israel and the Palestinians to fulfil obligations set out in the “road map”, although the United States indicated it did not back the proposed measure.

 

Peace plan

  

The peace plan, backed by the US, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union, aims to end the three-year conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

  

Jordan strongly feels that the initiative - which stipulates the creation of an independent Palestinian state by 2005 side by side with Israel - is the cornerstone of a peace settlement in the region.

  

Earlier in November, Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, visited Russia in a failed attempt to convince Russia to drop its efforts to turn the “road map” into a binding United Nations resolution.

  

In the last week of October the Jordanian monarch asked Palestinian prime minister, Ahmad Quraya, to present him with ideas to revive the “road  map” that he would submit to US President George Bush, whom Abd Allah is set to meet in December.