The following is the text of the King’s remarks as reported in the Jordan Times:
‘We have to keep trying’
Meanwhile, the King said in a BBC interview aired yesterday that moving the Palestinian issue in the right direction would give the international community more flexibility to deal with other Middle East problems.
“If we can move that in the positive direction, it allows us much more flexibility in dealing with the others,” the Monarch told the BBC on the sidelines of the three-day World Economic Forum on the Middle East, which concluded on Sunday.
“I keep saying that Israeli-Palestinian issue is the core issue in the Middle East, the central issue at the heart of all Arabs and Muslims.”
The King asked: “If we don’t have a Palestinian state, can we ever have peace between the Arabs and the Israelis?” He said efforts should focus now on launching the peace process.
“As difficult and as dark it gets, we have to keep trying, and this is what we’re saying, specifically on the Palestinian issue,” the King said. “We see a spike of tension and crises, and I think that’s why everybody’s scrambling to restore calm as quickly as possible… there are voices of reason out there, and I’m hoping that they’re beginning to pick up momentum.”
The Monarch inaugurated the WEF on Friday, urging around 1,000 politicians, economists, media leaders, intellectuals and other prominent figures from around 50 countries to help end violence in the Middle East and be ready for the “day after peace”.
“This is our year of opportunity. Opportunity to end violence, opportunity to make peace, opportunity to build the regional economic powerhouse of tomorrow,” the King said in his opening remarks.
“There is a historic opportunity to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement, and achieve it now, this year, before any more generations suffer, before any more destruction takes place.”
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
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