Quraya pushes peace plan in Jordan

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya is in Amman to seek Jordanian help in pressing Israel to revive a US-backed peace "road map".

    Palestinian premier (L) meets US envoy William Burns in Amman

    Quraya met senior US envoy William Burns on Saturday for the first time since taking office earlier this month. He is expected to give King Abd Allah a Palestinian wish-list on Sunday before the Jordanian monarch's planned visit to Washington next week.

    At their meeting in the heavily guarded US embassy, Burns pledged the United States would continue to try to steer the peace process back on track, according to a statement issued afterwards.

    Burns stressed the importance of a maximum effort by the Palestinians to end what he called the "terror and violence which have done so much to undermine their own legitimate aspirations" it said.

    On arriving in Amman, Quraya met Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan al-Muashar, who assured him King Abd Allah would take to Washington "a clear plan from the new Palestinian Cabinet on how to deal with the situation in a way that guarantees the success of efforts to resume the peace process".

    Israeli barrier
    Muasher warned that the separation barrier Israel was building in the West Bank was a major hurdle to peace.

    Jordan, a key US ally in the Middle East, has said Abd Allah hopes to present top US officials with Palestinian suggestions for ending the violence and reviving the "road map", which envisages a Palestinian state by 2005.

    Speaking before he left for Amman, Quraya said he would tell Burns that the United States should get involved "energetically" and "directly" in reviving peace negotiations.

    Quraya ruled out holding talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as long as Israel continues building the barrier. Israel says it is meant to keep out Palestinian bombers but the Palestinians condemn it as the seizure of their land in the West Bank.

    A recent US decision to cut loan guarantees to Israel over the barrier signalled a renewed interest in peacemaking by Washington, which has been preoccupied for much of the year with Iraq.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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