Jordan says Arab uprisings should not derail peace

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King Abdullah II said on Monday that uprisings in the Arab world should not hinder efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Jordan's official Petra news agency reported.

"It is important that circumstances in the Arab region do not become a pretext for not moving towards finding a solution to the Palestinian cause," he told visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez at a meeting.

The region has been swept by a wave of protests sparked by popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that overthrew two leaders who had been in power for decades.

"Spain supports the Palestinian people's aspiration to create their own independent state that lives in peace and security with Israel in line with a two-state solution," Petra quoted Jimenez as saying.

Israel has come under increasing pressure in recent months over stalled direct peace talks, which grounded to a halt shortly after their relaunch in September 2010 over the issue of settlement construction in the Palestinian territories.

Petra said Jimenez, who also met her Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh and Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit, is on a regional tour.

"The European Union fully backs King Abdullah's efforts to enhance political and economic reforms," she was quoted as saying.

Jordanians, including the kingdom's powerful Islamist opposition, have also been demonstrating since January to demand sweeping reforms.

© 2011 AFP

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