Carter Briefs Jordan's King on His Mideast Peace Mission

A Royal Palace official says former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has briefed Jordan's king on Palestinian-Israeli peace moves and his meetings with the militant Hamas.

The official says King Abdullah II focused in his Sunday's meeting with Carter on peacemaking between Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert but did not discuss his contacts with Hamas in great detail, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Carter's controversial meetings with Hamas leaders have produced a draft of a three-point peace agreement that includes a ceasefire with Israel, Hamas officials tell FOX News, but it isn't clear whether such a proposal would have any standing in the peace process.

Jordan accuses Hamas of clandestinely stockpiling weapons in the kingdom with the aim of using them to destabilize the pro-Western Amman government.

Carter met again on Saturday with the exiled leader of the militant Hamas group and his deputy, without backing from the Bush administration and against the wishes of Israeli leaders. The two Palestinians are considered terrorists by the U.S. government and Israel accuses them of masterminding attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians.

The U.S. State Department twice advised Carter against meeting Hamas leaders before he left on his Mideast trip earlier this week. More than 50 members of Congress also urged Carter not to go, saying it would confer legitimacy on the group behind some 250 homicide bombings that have killed numerous Israelis.

Members of Carter's camp say they only will reveal details of their discussions next week in Israel, but Hamas officials told FOX News the meetings with Carter were productive.

Hamas officials said Saturday they are ready to cooperate with the former president regarding the issues discussed but won't say if they have accepted the terms.

In addition to a ceasefire, the proposal would entail serious negotiations about the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been in Hamas custody since June 2006, and the lifting of an international embargo in Gaza that has been in place since Hamas won elections in February 2006.

Carter met Khaled Meshal and his deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, for about an hour Saturday morning, after more than four hours of talks the night before.

Carter, on what he has called a personal peace mission, is the most prominent American to hold talks with Meshal, whose group claimed new legitimacy from the meetings with the Nobel laureate.

"Political isolation by the American administration has begun to crumble," Mohammed Nazzal, a top figure in Hamas' political bureau, told The Associated Press after Friday's meeting in Damascus. The U.S. government has had no contact with Hamas since designating it a terrorist organization in 1995.

Nazzal said Gaza-based Hamas leaders would travel to Syria on Saturday to confer with Meshal and that Carter "will be informed of Hamas' response in the coming days."

The meetings were closed to media and held under tight security and Carter was not available for comment. The next leg of his Mideast tour takes him to Saudi Arabia.

Echoing criticism from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before the trip, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack suggested Friday that Carter had opened himself up to "exploitation" by both Hamas and the Syrian government. Carter also met with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Although long shunned by diplomats, Hamas thrust itself onto the international stage by winning the 2006 Palestinian parliament elections. The group forcibly seized control of Gaza from Fatah in June and set up a regime that rivals President Mahmoud Abbas' West Bank government.

An internationally backed Israeli boycott of Hamas — partly an attempt to bolster Abbas' faction — has put a stranglehold on Gaza, deepening the poverty of its 1.4 million residents.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.