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King Abdullah of Jordan
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Jordan: Next few weeks crucial for Mideast peace

After meeting with Canadian premier, King Abdullah says international community must re-launch dialogue between Israelis, Palestinians

The next few weeks will be crucial if new efforts to resuscitate a Middle East peace process are to succeed, Jordan's King Abdullah said on Friday.

 

"The next couple of weeks and months are going to be critical to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians to launch the process forward and it cannot be done alone," King Abdullah said after talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he expects to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas early next week. The Quartet of Middle East mediators - the United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union - will gather on July 19 for the first time since Hamas forces captured control of Gaza in June.

 

"Jordan and Canada and many other countries ... are working as part of a team to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians together," he told a news conference.

 

Harper, whose Conservative government has taken a firmly pro-Israel stance since taking power 18 months ago, said the only way to end the crisis was through talks. In March 2006, Canada became the first donor to suspend aid to the Palestinian Authority in the wake of elections that brought Hamas to power.

 

"Now that Hamas is not in the government we're obviously looking at ways we can increase our financial and other assistance," said Harper.

 

He said Canada and other nations needed to press the Palestinian Authority on "the necessity for reform and of better governance.

 

"It's our strong view that the Palestinian people did not vote for extremism, they voted against problems in governance, and those have to be addressed."

 


פרסום ראשון: 07.13.07, 20:44
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