Israel fuels instability: Jordan`s king

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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