King Abdullah of Jordan, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Reuters, AP file
King Abdullah of Jordan, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, reportedly met in secret in southern Israel, on Friday.
updated 3/19/2004 7:03:51 AM ET 2004-03-19T12:03:51

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met secretly with Jordan's King Abdullah at the Israeli leader's farm in southern Israel, Israeli media reported Friday.

During Thursday's lunchtime meeting, the two men discussed Sharon's plan to unilaterally separate Israel from Palestinian areas if peace efforts remain stalled, the reports said.

Sharon has said the plan would include a withdrawal from parts of the Gaza Strip, West Bank and imposing a boundary on the Palestinians, although he has not released details. Israel also is building a separation barrier in the West Bank, which it says is meant to stop suicide bombers.

Jordan has expressed concern over Sharon's plans, especially the construction of the barrier, fearing it will lead to an exodus of West Bank Palestinians into Jordan.

Such an influx would threaten Jordan's delicate demographic balance. At least half of the country's population is Palestinian.

Last week, ahead of a groundbreaking ceremony for a Jordanian-Israeli science center, Sharon said he would be meeting with the king in the near future.

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