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Hussein praises US peace plan

King Hussein of Jordan said the framework for a future federation of the West Bank and Jordan could be tested in a referendum.

He said he believed some kind of plan for federation would emerge between the West Bank and Jordan - and Jordanians and Palestinians would then have either to accept or reject it.

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The monarch, in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), described the United States Middle East peace proposals, calling for Palestinian autonomy in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in association with Jordan, as the most courageous US stand since 1956.

He also said last week's Arab summit at Fez was a critical moment in history and achieved an Arab consensus on the foundations of a just and durable peace in the Middle East.

King Hussein added that Israeli fears that such an arrangement could be a path to power for Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat were unfounded. ''The PLO is a transition,'' he said.

US special envoy Morris Draper arrived in Israel Tuesday to begin negotiations on a withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon. Israel has made it clear its invasion forces will remain in Lebanon until Syria and the PLO pull out. But at the Arab summit in Morocco last week, the Syrians and Palestinians blocked endorsement of a Lebanese request for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country.

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