ABDULLAH: Well, look, if I can play the devil's advocate here, I wish that our Israeli colleagues would, you know, pick one argument and bloody well stick to it, because, you know, the past couple of years, the Israelis were saying, well, you know, Abbas is not a partner for peace because he doesn't represent the Palestinian people. Therefore, we're not prepared to move forward.
Abbas has now made reconciliation with Hamas, does represent the Palestinian people, and the Israeli argument is, well, we can't deal with him because of Hamas. Abbas had been very clear that Hamas will not be part of the government. They will not have any role in the security apparatus in the West Bank, which is important for the United States, it's important for Jordan, because we worked tirelessly together to train the Palestinian security forces.
You know, Christiane, it's always easy to find an excuse why not to do the right thing. And if we continue along those lines, then we will never solve this problem. And at the end of the day, it's going to be the Arabs and Israelis who are going to pay the ultimate price. You have seen our region. For how many decades have we suffered from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? So we need leaders with courage to take the tough decisions and solve this once and for all.
AMANPOUR: Let's talk about some of the neighboring states. Syria is obviously in a pretty bad state right now. There's violent repression of people who want democracy. Many people thought that Bashar al-Assad was a reformer. Would you say he's a reformer?
ABDULLAH: Well, today he has a major challenge of, how do you reach out to the people and bring them in on the table? That hasn't happened in Syria. And I think to turn things around and bring common stability, dialogue, national reconciliation, outreach is the only way that you can do so.
AMANPOUR: Is Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, in charge?
ABDULLAH: I've talked to him on several occasions to see what Jordan can do to bring stability and, obviously, calm to Syria. And from my discussions with him and from what I hear, he is in charge, yes, and he is calling the shots.
I think Bashar needs to reach out to the people and get people around the table. I learned from his late Majesty King Hussein...
AMANPOUR: Your father.
ABDULLAH: ... my father, is to keep as close to the people as possible. And on a weekly basis, I go out and visit different sectors of society. I sit down with people from all walks of life. And we discuss all the issues that are relevant to them.
AMANPOUR: The queen, Queen Rania, has been rather viciously attacked in Jordan. In your book, you write that you have an equal partnership. Why is she being attacked? And are there any merits to the grounds that there have been land grabs that she's organized for her family or other corruptions?
ABDULLAH: Everything that I've heard is absolutely ludicrous and very sad, when many, many Jordanians know what she has done for women, for children, not only in Jordan, but across the region and further afield. I think we're in an atmosphere where anybody that wants to look at destabilizing Jordan and having a go at me, looking at a weaker link. And having a go at Rania I think has been very, very sad for all of us that people would stoop to that level.
AMANPOUR: Does she have any powers to pick certain ministers or civil servants or anybody?