'This Week' Transcript: George Mitchell and King Abdullah II

ABDULLAH: Well, there's two aspects to this. Obviously, when this was started in Tunis, was because of the world economic crisis, a large portion of youth in the Middle East that are suffering from economic hardships, that want a better life. So it was economic frustration and -- and desires that led, I think, to political awakening, that they want to be able to chart their own destiny.

AMANPOUR: The latest polls say about two-thirds, maybe even three-quarters of Jordanians want democracy. What are you as King Abdullah going to do to realize that dream?

ABDULLAH: From right at the beginning of -- of this, we brought all sectors of society together. We created what we called sort of the national dialogue to all sit around the table and decide what it is that Jordanians want. The committee has embarked on two laws, a new election law and new political party law, which is I think critical for the future of Jordan. We'll have new elections at the end of the year, and it will be the start of new democracy in our country.

AMANPOUR: In Jordan, 13 percent of the people polled say they have a positive view of the United States. Americans are concerned that a new democracy in your country and elsewhere could be an Islamist scary future. Do you feel that that is possible in Jordan?

ABDULLAH: Not in Jordan. It could be possible elsewhere. In my particular position, I have the responsibility to lead the debate in the right direction. And I think Jordan will move towards the light; I have no worries about Jordan.

I don't know how in other countries they're developing. And each country in the Middle East is different. You alluded to the United States not being very popular, but, again, we've got to remember, the reason I think for the most part where America is not popular is because its perceived lack of ability to move the Israeli-Palestinian process forward.

AMANPOUR: In your book, you're pretty relentless about criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Is he an obstacle to peace?

ABDULLAH: Well, in my discussions with him -- and they've been, I think, very thorough -- when he speaks to me, I see his vision of peace for the Palestinians, peace for the Arabs, and I've always left those meetings feeling very optimistic.

But unfortunately, the circumstances that we've seen on the ground for the past two years does not fill me with much -- much hope. I just have a feeling that we're going to be living with the status quo for 2011. And as you well know, whenever we -- we accept the status quo, we do so until there is another war. And so that is of tremendous concern to me.

AMANPOUR: Do you feel that there might be another war?

ABDULLAH: Well, if you look to the past 10 years, every two to two-and-a-half years there's either the intifada or a war or a conflict. So looking back over the past 12 years, my experience shows me that if we ignore the Israeli-Palestinian issue, something will burst.

AMANPOUR: Israel is saying that it cannot have peace talks with a group like Hamas, who they deem is terrorists. America, as well, deems Hamas to be a terrorist organization. And yet before everybody was saying we can't have peace talks because the Palestinians are divided. How to get beyond that?

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: The scene near the finish line of the Boston Marathon is seen in this April 16, 2013 file photo. Inset, suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are seen. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with police and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured.
Elise Amendola/AP Photo; Inset: Lowell Sun, FBI/AP Photo
PHOTO: The first explosion knocked down a runner at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon.
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
PHOTO: Pulaski Township Police Sgt. Chad Adam seen here in this undated Facebook photo, went undercover as an Amish woman.
Pulaski Township Police Department/Facebook
PHOTO: The Earths shadow is cast over the surface of the moon as a total lunar eclipse is seen though a Magnolia tree top in the sky over Tyler, Texas, April 15, 2014.
Dr. Scott M. Lieberman/AP Photo