King Abdulla II of Jordan said on Monday that the prolonged stalemate on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has made him into a pessimist.
Speaking to CNN on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum meeting on the shores of the Dead Sea, King Abdulla said the seemingly unbridgeable gaps between Israel and the Palestinian Authority warrant serious doubts over whether Israel is serious about the peace talks.
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"I am one of the most optimistic people you'll meet in the Middle East, and for the first time I am very pessimistic about the Israelis and Palestinians moving forward," he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he continued, "says all the right things" on the necessary steps which need to be taken in order to reach a solution in the Middle East, but "from what I have seen of the political system in Israel.... Israel is not really interested in a two-state solution.
"And what's the other option? I think the one-state solution has tremendous negative implications on all of us, including the Israelis," the king told CNN.
King Abdulla further expressed hope that Washington would not lose sight of its regional interests during the nearing presidential campaign: "That would be disastrous because whenever there is a vacuum, whenever there is a status quo, there's usually a war. And so we're missing a tremendous opportunity," he warned.
Israel and the PA are the region's core issue and must remain so, he added: "I think the Arab Spring was a good opportunity for some to ignore the core issue that's always been here, that is, the future of the Israelis and Palestinians," he said.
'No one know what to do with Syria'
King Abdullah further added that the Arab world was at a loss regarding Syria: "No one has any idea how to deal with what's happening in Syria… there is great concern about how things will develop there.
"I don't think there's anybody in the region or outside who knows how to tackle the Syria issue." The king said he had reached out to Syrian President Bashar Assad personally, but to no avail.
"I've spoken to Bashar twice. I have sent the chief of the royal court to see him on several occasions," he said, to outline how Jordan is trying to implement its own political reforms.
"Not that we've got anything perfect, but you know, national dialogue and outreach – and they're not really interested in what we have to say," King Abdullah said.
"So we're trying to keep the channels of communication open and watching with great concern how things are going to develop there," he said.
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