Jordanian King Holds Obama to Middle East Peace Pledge

By Danny

Apr 24, 2009 8:51pm

ABC News’ Ferdous Al-Faruque reports: Jordan’s King Abdullah urged President Barack Obama to lead the Middle East peace process at a luncheon April 24, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Ferdous Al-Faruque/ ABC News Jordan’s King Abdullah says President Obama needs to stick to his election night promise to reach out to the Arab and Muslim world and work towards bringing peace to the  Middle-East. Speaking at a luncheon at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., the Jordanian monarch said, "Arabs and Muslims throughout the World took note of the President’s inaugural pledge for a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest. His out-reach since then has been well received in the Arab world." Abdullah also said every Middle Eastern country looked to the United States as the main element to bringing peace to the region. He also stated that bringing lasting peace would be in the US’ strategic interest and would also promote its credibility. However, Abdullah also said there are three key points that need to be followed in order to bring peace in the region. He said the Obama administration needs to understand the complex nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how other crises and events in the region can affect the issue. Abdullah also stated that the US should give aid to Israel and Palestine that comes with incentives so it is in the best interest of both sides to co-exist. Finally he said the administration needs to recognize the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and said "The US commitment to Palestinian statehood must be unambiguous, in deeds and as well as words. Jordan has been a key player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict having fought several wars with its western neighbor and eventually losing the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 war. As a consequence 1.7 million Palestinian refugees now live in Jordan. In 1994, Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, signed a peace treaty between with Israel that renewed diplomatic ties between the two countries. Abdullah warned that heading into another peace process without setting a strategy to work with will again end in failure to bring normalcy to the region. "We do not have time to engage in yet another open-ended process," he said. "We have seen what comes of process without progress."

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