King Abdullah. Time is running out
Photo: AFP

Jordan's king: US credibility under question

In CNN interview, King Abdullah says Obama's 'undivided attention desperately needed' in order to set right tone for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He warns against crossing 'invisible line', missing out on two-state option

WASHINGTON – Jordan's King Abdullah believes time is running out for negotiations. In a CNN interview CNN aired Sunday, Abdullah estimated that there was no more than a month to move the peace process forward.


He warned of what may take place in the Arab League summit, criticized the American administration and noted that "the credibility of the US is under question."


The Jordanian king was careful not to personally attack US President Barack Obama, who he said was "extremely committed". He added, however, that Obama was busy with many other matters and was facing political difficulties, while "we desperately need the undivided attention of the United States in order to set the right tone for negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians."


Abdullah warned against "crossing an invisible line in the sand", after which the viability of a two-state solution will no longer be there. "I hope we haven’t crossed it yet, but when, God forbid, we do cross that line, then I think we doom the Middle East and the region to many decades of instability. So the time we spend talking and not solving this problem, we all pay the price."


He stressed, "We really have to be able to move the process forward in the next month or so, especially leading to the Arab summit, so that we don't have any confusion coming out of there."


The king strongly ruled out the option of a Palestinian state under Jordan. "There are certain elements in the Israeli government that are pushing for Jordan to take a role in the West Bank. That is never going to work and we have to be very clear that Jordan absolutely does not want to have anything to do with the West Bank. All we will be doing is replacing Israeli military with Jordanian military. The Palestinians don’t want that, they want to have their own statehood."


He stressed that "we will not have any role in the West Bank. Trying to make Jordan Palestine doesn’t make any sense to me. That's not going to happen."


'Two states the only solution'

According to the Jordanian king, "The one-state solution terrifies more Israelis than the two-state solution. And so I think that the only credible, viable way of solving this problem is the two-state solution, giving the Israelis and the Palestinians the ability to live together. More importantly, allowing Arabs and Muslims to then have a peace treaty with Israel. Fifty-seven nations – a third of the United Nations – do not recognize Israel today. So they're isolated in the neighborhood and further afield.


Abdullah met with President Shimon Peres about a week ago, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He believes that "the overwhelming percentage of Israelis and Palestinians do want a two-state solution and as quickly as possible. The challenge that we have, in Israel in particular, is to get beyond the politicians to the Israeli people themselves, because they are so disheartened that they don't believe it's ever going to happen."


The Jordanian king spoke about his meetings with Israeli people. "On many occasions I've sat down with Israelis to say, 'Where do you see your country in 10 years time?' Not Israeli has ever been able to answer that question. Because of the security threat, they think of the 'here and now'. They can only think of today. When is the next attack, when is the next bomb.


"And so this is the challenge that Jordan has and the international community has: Reaching out to the Israeli public and saying, 'Do you want to continue being fortress Israel?' What a dismal place that would be, and how it continues to affect the whole region. The challenge is to reach the Israeli people and say, 'We basically want the two-state solution to happen so that you can be integrated into the neighborhood.' And that's actually a lot harder than people might imagine."


פרסום ראשון: 02.07.10, 23:39
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