Israel and Jordan take a step nearer peace

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The Independent Online
WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Israel and Jordan have reached tentative agreement on a detailed agenda to guide their quest for peace, providing the Middle East peace process with its first significant success on the eve of its first anniversary. The agreement, which still needs to be approved by the Israeli and Jordanian governments, lays out a framework for continued negotiations, defines agreed goals and provides a vision of future relations between the two enemies, according to diplomats and officials.

The US Assistant Secretary of State, Edward Djerjian, hailed the agreement, reached after a week of discussions in Washington during the seventh round of Arab-Israeli peace talks, as a significant step forward. 'The Israelis and Jordanians made real and serious progress in their discussions,' he said. 'They are very close to a final agreement on an agenda. In fact . . . it is far more important than an agenda. It represents substantial agreement by the negotiators . . . on key principles and direction on how to resolve differences in the talks.'