King Abdullah II of Jordan hosted on Thursday the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas at Petra convention in what was described by Israeli media as an unofficial meeting.
The Israeli Ynetnews reported on Thursday that Olmert, Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan dined in Petra together with the Dalai Lama and author Elie Wiezel.
In the meeting, which was defined as "good and warm," the three decided to promote the establishment of a free trade zone in the Jordan Valley, east of Jenin, the Ynetnews added.
Both Palestinian president and Israeli Prime Minister agreed to meet again within a few weeks.
During the meeting, Olmert said that he made a decision to build an international joint airport in Aqaba with two terminals, and to promote the water pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
Olmert also said that a joint copper mining will be constructed in Timna and in the Jordanian area.
Israeli officials said that there “were no diplomatic negotiations” in the meeting with Abbas, but a meeting will be set for the end of June or the beginning of July.
The officials added that the meeting was only “a ceremonial and symbolic gesture” and that they do not plan to discuss issues which will be postponed to the planned meeting between the two, but added that it is possible that urgent diplomatic issues will be raised during the unofficial meeting.
During a conference at Petra on Wednesday, Abbas said that Israel should realize that the Palestinians will not recognize a unilateral solution determined and forced by the Israeli government.
“Israel must realize that we will not be able to accept a unilateral solution determined solely by its government, which is building fences around the Palestinian population”, Abbas stated, “We will demand the 1967 borders – no more and no less".
Nabil Abu Rodina, Abbas’ advisor, said that a summit between Abbas and Olmert could be held within two weeks.
The Ynetnews said that Olmert was invited by King Abdullah to take part in the second Petra Conference being held in Jordan since Wednesday. Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres also attended the conference and met with Abbas and King Abdullah.
Journalist and author Elie Wiesel is also taking part in the conference, and is expected to meet with Olmert later.