30 Jan 2012

Hamas political leader in Jordan

1:12 pm on 30 January 2012

The political leader of Hamas was in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah and government officials on Sunday.

Khaled Meshaal was expelled from the country in 1999. In a brief statement, he made no mention of rumours that he and the Hamas leadership are looking to move from their current base in Syria.

But he expressed a commitment to security and stability in Jordan, saying he was keen to improve ties.

He was accompanied on the visit to Jordan by Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamad Bin Tamim al-Thani of Qatar, who is mediating talks.

The BBC says Jordan is looking to build bridges with Islamists who have been gaining ground following the uprisings across the Arab world.

Amman is also believed to be trying to raise its profile in efforts to reconcile Hamas with Fatah, It has also hosted informal talks to try to get Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

But Jordan has downplayed suggestions that Hamas is seeking to set up a base in the kingdom, saying such a step was never raised in Sunday's talks.

Formed in 1987, Hamas is designated a terrorist organisation by Israel, the United States and the European Union.