Israel fuels instability: Jordan`s king
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 22:02
  
Amman: Jordan's King Abdullah II has warned that Israel's stance in peace talks with the Palestinian is fuelling instability in the Middle East, in remarks published today in The Wall Street Journal.

"If we can't get the Israelis and Palestinians together in this next couple of days, then what signal is that for the future process?" King Abdullah asked in a WSJ interview in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly.

The Jordanian ruler said that while he had been encouraged at times by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "positive statements," the reality on the ground was disappointing.

"I think my best way to describe my view toward Israel is my increasing frustration because they're sticking their head in the sand and pretending that there's not a problem," said the monarch, whose country signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.

His comments came as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas vowed to seek a vote on UN membership for a Palestinian state this Friday, setting up a collision with the United States and Israel.

Washington has already said it will use its veto if the UN Security Council votes on the issue, while Netanyahu yesterday urged Abbas to hold direct talks in New York ahead of the showdown.

In the interview, King Abdullah also said the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was contributing to the instability in the region.

"I have talked to him (Assad) twice in the first part of the year to discuss about the challenges we are facing and how we could be supportive in lessons learnt, but at that point the Syrians were not really interested in what we had to say," he told the WSJ.

According to UN estimates, at least 2,600 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the Syrian regime's crackdown on pro-democracy protests since mid-March.

Bureau Report


First Published: Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 22:02


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