Jordanian King, Turkish President Meet on Regional Issues

Jordanian King Abdullah Bin Hussein in Amman on November 15 held talks with visiting Turkish President Ahmed Necdet Sezer on the Israeli-Palestinian clashes in the Palestinian territories and ways to promote bilateral ties.

Sezer, who arrived here late Tuesday from Doha, capital of Qatar, after attending the two-day Islamic summit, is also expected to meet Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb and other high- ranking officials, said royal palace officials.

During the talks, the two leaders reiterated condemnation of Israel for its "excessive use of force" against stone-throwing Palestinian protestors, the officials added.

More than 210 people, mostly Palestinians, have been killed and thousands wounded in nearly seven weeks of bloody clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops.

Jordan, as the second Arab country after Egypt to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1994, has stated on many occasions that Jordan will maintain peace with Israel, a close ally of Turkey in the Middle East.

The resource-sparse kingdom hopes to strengthen economic and water cooperation with Ankara in a bid to lift the country from economic stagnation which is featured in high unemployment rate and heavy foreign debts.

During Sezer's three-day visit, a Turkish businessmen delegation will tackle ways of boosting the annual Turkish-Jordanian trade volume to 1 billion U.S. dollars from over 200 million dollars in 1999.

The two sides will also discuss a project to bring water from the aquifers in southern Jordan to the thirsty capital in the north, in which some Turkish businessmen have shown great interest.

Water from Turkey's Manavgat River, which is planned to be sold to Israel, can be transferred directly or indirectly to Jordan and the Palestinian self-rule areas, thus, Turkey is trying to make due contribution to the peace process with a scheme of "water of peace."

People's Daily Online ---