Jordan's King Abdullah said Sunday the problems in the Middle East go beyond the war in Iraq and that much of the region soon could become engulfed in violence unless the central issues are addressed quickly.
"We could possibly imagine going into 2007 and having three civil wars on our hands," he said, citing conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon and the decades-long strife between the Palestinians and Israelis.
"Therefore, it is time that we really take a strong step forward as part of the international community and make sure we avert the Middle East from a tremendous crisis that I fear, and I see could possibly happen in 2007," he said.
Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Abdullah said he remained hopeful a summit he will host this week in Amman with President George W. Bush and the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, will somehow lower the sectarian violence that threatens to push Iraq into all-out civil war.
"We hope there will be something dramatic. The challenges, obviously, in front of both of them are immense," the king said.
'Major problem – Israeli-Palestinian conflict'
Abdullah said it is natural that Americans, with troops fighting in Iraq, view that war as the major problem in the Middle East.
"But, for the majority of us living in this part of the world, it has always been the Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Arab problem. I fear that if we do not use the next couple of months to really be able to push the process forward, I don't believe that there will be anything to talk about."
Unless something is done soon to lower the tension, he said, the two-state solution of Israel and an independent Palestinian state existing side by side becomes less a possibility.
"If we don't solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem then how can we ever solve the Israeli-Arab problem?" he said. "Do we resign this whole region to another decade or two of violence?"
The king said that he hoped in his discussions with Bush, the leaders can "concentrate ourselves on the core issues, which we believe are the Palestinians and the Palestinian peace process, because that is a must today, as well as the tremendous concern we've had over the past several days, (with) what's happening in Lebanon."