U.N.'s Ban visits Jordan to move Mideast peace process forward

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is on a trip to jump start the Middle East peace process.

Story highlights

  • Ban will also visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories
  • Abdullah is attempting to broker new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pays an official visit to Jordan on Tuesday, as part of a Middle East trip to help move the peace process forward.

"My visit comes at an important moment," Ban told reporters last week, in announcing the trip to Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

"I will be there to encourage both sides to re-engage in earnest and create a positive atmosphere for moving forward," he said.

In recent months, Jordan's King Abdullah II has taken a more active role in trying to bridge the gulf between Israelis and Palestinians, filling the vacuum created by the removal of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians fell apart in September 2010 over disagreements on the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

But earlier this month, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators met in Amman with representatives of the Middle East Quartet -- made up of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia -- in an effort to relaunch negotiations after more than a year of deadlock.

No significant breakthrough was made, but the two sides agreed to meet again.