King Abdullah II, the reigning monarch of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan just concluded a fifteen-minute speech at Princeton University, at the invitation of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The speech started a few minutes after twelve noon and had been announced as,
King Abdullah will address the future of Arab-American relations in the context of the Middle East’s current challenges, particularly how to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which Jordan views as the most significant issue facing the region.
The main theme was, “Time is running out”, a phrase he repeated several times during this brief speech.
King Abdullah stated that 2008 is a critical year for the solution of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, and that “we need the USA completely involved to ensure a final agreement by end of 2008.”
He wants America’s strong authority to act switfly, as the only time there has been peace in the Middle East has been when America took a strong leadership role: “If we fail to resolve the core problem of the region it’ll become significantly harder for the countries of the region to work with America, and [those countries] will move further away from common principles of mutual respect and partnership.”
He specifically asked for a homeland for the Palestinians, and believes that it’ll bring security and new acceptance for Israel in region, and create a new partnership berween USA and the Arab/Muslin people.
He did take three questions:
Q. Why now?
KA: Because for the 1st time moderates have gained some ground in ME, and there is a process in place now. If that process falls apart, radicals may gain ground.
Q: Will there be greater Joradnian involvement?
KA: Whatever Israel and Jordan talk, they won’t be able to solve status issues by themselves: that’s when international community and the US will need to help with the obstacles.
There will be panArab involvement – the future of Israel is bigger than a 2 state solution. We’re offering complete acceptance of Israel in the whole region up to and including Indonesia, that third of the world that still has no acceptance of Israel.
Q. How do you envision this Palestinian solution with Hamas in control?
Most Israelis & Pales want it. The future of the region are the 70% of the people who are under age 35 & want a future. The difficulty is the politicians who mess it up. It’s going to be the Israeli & Palestinian people saying we want peace.
Reported by Fausta Wertz directly from Princeton NJ. Copyright 2008
UPDATE, Saturday March 1
King of Jordan: U.S. must step up in Middle East