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Jordan hopes Biden summit revives Mideast peace process

Jordan voiced hope Wednesday that a summit this week involving US President Joe Biden would breathe new life into the Middle East peace process following major fighting between Israel and Hamas. Biden will Wednesday visit Israel to show solidarity after Hamas attacks and then head to Jordan, a key US partner, for a four-way summit. In Amman, Biden will meet King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt — the first two Arab countries to make peace with Israel — as well as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, a Hamas foe based in the West Bank. Jordan’s royal court said the summit will “discuss the dangerous developments in Gaza and their repercussions on the region”. The talks will also “work towards finding a political horizon that will revive the peace process,” it said. Efforts to create a Palestinian state have been at a standstill for years with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-right government firmly opposed. The Biden administration has backed calls for a two-state solution but has done little diplomatically to advance the goal, seeing little prospect of success. King Abdullah will also meet separately with the three leaders on “how to ensure the entry of humanitarian and relief aid into the (Gaza) Strip”. Israel has been pounding the Hamas-ruled territory and preparing a ground invasion after suffering the deadliest attack in its 75-year history. Hamas militants infiltrated Israel on October 7 and killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians including children, the elderly and revellers at a music festival. Israel’s air strikes have killed at least 2,750 Palestinians, also mostly civilians, although Israel says it is targeting Hamas. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been shuttling around the region for nearly a week as he champions Israel’s right to self-defence but also tries to mitigate the humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip. Blinken will meet again in Amman on Tuesday with King Abdullah and Abbas before joining Biden in Israel.

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