- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 16, 2014

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a quiet visit to Jordan’s King Abdullah II to talk peace with the Palestinians on Thursday — a brief get-together that came as the exclamation point to an earlier Israeli order to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: Butt out of our pact process.

Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abdullah met behind closed doors and discussed “developments in the peace process,” Ynet News reported. The talks came a week after Mr. Abdullah met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and a few days after he spoke with Mr. Kerry.

Mr. Kerry hasn’t made a purely positive impression in Israel with his push for a peace deal. Just this week, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said in published remarks that Mr. Kerry ought to go seek his Nobel Peace Prize elsewhere — and that he should “leave us alone.” Mr. Yaalon also said Mr. Kerry was chasing an “unfathomable obsession and a messianic feeling” with his travels to Israel to discuss peace.

The Thursday talks between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abdullah were regarded as significant, timed at a “critical period” in the negotiations, the Royal Palace said, in a statement reported by Ynet News. Neither side released details about the talks, but the palace said they reflected the king’s “keenness to achieve a tangible progress in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations that would meet the aspirations of the Palestinian people, while at the same time protect higher Jordanian interests.”

Jordan and Israel have a peace treaty that they signed in 1994.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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