King Hussain of Jordan has said that his decision to speed up his own country’s peace talks with Israel has not resulted in a serious breach in relations with Syria. He announced in Alexandria on 6 July that Jordan is on the verge of conducting serious negotiations with Israel covering all items on the agenda ratified in Washington last month. He was in Egypt for talks with President Mubarak about the peace process.

On the question of Syrian discontent that Jordan is going so far before an agreement is reached on the Golan Heights issue, King Hussain said: ‘I don’t think there is any problem whatsoever. I haven’t heard anything to the contrary from my brother the president of Syria. We do meet from time to time so there is no problem. There is a commitment by Syria and by all of us to approach the subject seriously and hopefully reach a comprehensive peace. I believe they are aware of everything we are doing.’

Mubarak said he believed there are prospects for progress on the Syrian track. He said the return of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to Gaza and Jericho would make it easier for other problems in the peace process to be solved.