Jordan's Abdullah Summons Olmert, Barak

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AMMAN, Jordan - Jordanian King Abdullah summoned outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to a secret meeting Tuesday evening in Amman.

Olmert and Barak, who flew in separate helicopters to meet with the Hashemite monarch, were warned that any escalation in Israel's response to Palestinian rocket attacks could destabilize the situation in Jordan, whose citizenship is 70 percent Palestinian.

Abdullah told of a rally, held earlier in the week by the Islamic Action Front, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, calling on Hamas to increase its offensive against Israel.

The group plans to sail vessels to the Gaza Strip, much like the Free Gaza Movement, to break the Israeli "siege."

"By dispatching the ships, Jordan will become the first Arab country to take such an initiative," Rhayyel Gharaibeh, a coordinator for a Jordanian opposition group, told the Jordan Times.

"The idea is to have all segments of society--officials, civil society organizations, activists and professional associations--work together to aid the Palestinians in Gaza," he said.

Abdullah, who has repeatedly said that a Palestinian state is the only thing that will bring peace to the region, also stressed Jordan's strategic interest in its establishment.

Olmert briefed Abdullah on his meetings with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and the overall status of the peace negotiations, according to the London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat

All three men agreed on the significance of the recent U.S. elections, with the expectation that President-elect Barack Obama will play an active role in establishing a Palestinian state.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, israel national news, Haaretz

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