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Hamas chief holds talks with Jordan king

Jan. 28, 2013 8:54 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 30, 2013 10:41 P.M.)
AMMAN (Ma'an) -- Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal on Monday rejected talks on confederation with Jordan before the establishment of a Palestinian state, official Jordanian media reported.

"Talking about the confederation with Jordan before the establishment of a Palestinian state is unacceptable," Mashaal told reporters after a meeting in Amman with Jordan's King Abdullah, Petra news agency said.

Mashaal thanked King Abdullah for Jordan's support and reiterated Hamas' rejection of an "alternative homeland" for the Palestinian people.

The leaders discussed the future of the Palestinian cause, in light of recent Israeli and US elections, as well as reconciliation and regional developments, the head of Hamas' politburo added.

Both leaders pledged their commitment to national Palestinian reconciliation.

Meanwhile, King Abdullah said the UN's recent acceptance of Palestine as a non-member state was a significant step toward an independent Palestinian state and that a two-state solution was the only option for a stable and secure region.

Mashaal visited Jordan several times in 2012 to discuss reconciliation and other bilateral issues, amid years of uneasy relations with the Hashemite Kingdom.

In 1997, Israeli Mossad agents tried to assassinate Mashaal in the Jordanian capital, but were caught by Jordanian police after injecting the Hamas chief with poison in the street.

The attack so enraged Jordan's late King Hussein that he talked of hanging the captured Israeli would-be-assassins unless the antidote was handed over. An embarrassed Israeli government complied.

Mashaal, a Jordanian citizen, was then deported to Qatar after a crackdown by security forces on the movement in 1999 amid charges it harmed Jordanian national interests.
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