JERUSALEM, (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has invited Jordan’s King Abdullah to visit the Jewish state as Israel and Arab governments edge toward new discussion of an Arab peace proposal, officials said on Friday.
No date has been set for the visit by the monarch, whose country is one of the few Arab states with full relations with Israel, Israeli and Jordanian officials said. “His Majesty is ready to engage in any effort that helps to bring about the success of the Arab initiative and the setting up of a Palestinian state,” a source in the Jordanian royal palace in Amman told Reuters.
Olmert’s office said it had not yet had an official response from Jordan and gave no details on the plans for the visit.
Israel’s Maariv newspaper said on Friday that Olmert invited Abdullah over the phone for an official visit to Jerusalem. The daily said the trip would take place in the next few weeks and that the king may address the Israeli parliament.
Jordan was asked this week by the Arab League to try to persuade Israel to accept an Arab peace plan offering normal relations in return for land and a Palestinian state.
Abdullah met Israel’s acting president, parliamentary speaker Dalia Itzik, on Thursday in Amman, the first meeting by a top Israeli official with an Arab leader to discuss the latest initiative.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also met her Jordanian counterpart in Amman earlier in the week.