AMMAN, July 27 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and Jordan's King Abdullah discussed on Tuesday ways of launching direct talks between Israel
and the Palestinians, a Jordanian palace official said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
has said he will decide soon whether to proceed with face-to-face talks with Israel, after he said he won a U.S. promise that Israel would extend a moratorium on Jewish settlement-building in occupied territory if he agreed to the talks.
His majesty discussed the diplomatic moves to push the peace process
forward and find the right climate for the launch of direct and serious Palestinian-Israeli talks, the Jordanian official said.
He added that any talks between Israel and the Palestinians should focus on an overall agreement that guarantees the creation of an independent and viable Palestinian state that lives in peace alongside Israel.
Netanyahu has publicly stated he wants direct talks to start as soon as possible. Abbas wants to know in advance what shape and size of a future Palestinian state Israel is prepared to discuss, and whether it is ready to withdraw from the Jordan Valley and entrust security there to a third party.
Abbas also seeks clearer assurances from the United States.
The Arab League committee that approved recent indirect talks, mediated by the United States, is due to convene in Cairo on Thursday.
If there is progress by July 28, we will present it to the Arab League, Abbas said last week. If there is no progress we will tell the League that we will continue with the proximity talks until the end of the four-month mandate we received.
The Palestinian leader's credibility has been eroded by the failure of past negotiations and he is under pressure from his Fatah
group to avoid more direct talks with Israel that could be fruitless.
The Palestinians seek an independent state in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip
with East Jerusalem
as their capital -- all of this territory that Israel captured in a 1967 war. (Reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)