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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King meets leaders of Arab, Islamic organisations in US
Washington, DC, 10 February 2014

His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday met with a number of Arab and Islamic organisation leaders in the US.

Discussions focused on regional developments and the role these entities play in serving Arab and Muslim causes in US decision-making circles.

King Abdullah stressed that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the core issue in the Middle East, adding that arriving at a just and comprehensive solution to this decades-old conflict requires support from the international community, including Arab and Islamic organisations operating in the US.

His Majesty added that peace efforts should lead to the two-state solution based on international resolutions and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which, he said, was a historical turning point.

The solution should lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital and that lives side-by-side with Israel.

The King said Jordan places final status issues related to the Middle East conflict at the top of its higher national interests, noting that the Kingdom continues to support Palestinians’ rights, especially in establishing their state on their own national soil.

His Majesty warned against Israeli unilateral measures, particularly settlement expansion and attempts to undermine the Arab, Muslim and Christian identity of Jerusalem, which, he said, increases tension and instability and affects the chance of peace.

The King underlined the significant role the Arab and Islamic organisations play in supporting US endeavours to push forward the peace process.

Discussions also covered efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis, safeguarding the country’s unity and bringing an end to the suffering of its people, and limiting the number of refugees in neighbouring countries, especially Jordan, whose limited resources are under tremendous pressure due to hosting a great number of Syrians.

His Majesty warned of attempts to turn the Syrian conflict into a sectarian one, citing its dangerous effects on the entire region.

The King spoke about a conference that Jordan recently hosted, where leading Muslim scholars examined ways to promote tolerance among the followers of various sects.

His Majesty also mentioned another conference, where discussions focused on the challenges facing Arab Christians, with participants stressing the need to respect all opinions and promote interfaith tolerance.

The King stressed the important role that Arab and Muslim leaders can play in presenting to US decision makers issues facing the Arab and Muslim worlds, adding that they can work to build bridges with the West.

Arab and Muslim communities in the US have had a positive part in building American society and entrenching its values, His Majesty said.

Also during the meeting, the King highlighted the Kingdom’s achievements in its comprehensive reform drive, which is aimed at meeting present and future aspirations of all Jordanians.

The difference between Jordan and many other Arab countries when it comes to the Arab Spring is that Jordanians saw in it an opportunity to move aggressively ahead with its reform endeavour despite all regional challenges, His Majesty said.

The King said Jordan is keen on benefiting from the experience of Muslim and Arab communities in the US in consolidating the role of civil society and taking up democratic community awareness as a way of life.

For their part, the representatives of Arab and Muslim groups in the US commended Jordan’s role in supporting Middle East peace efforts.

The leaders lauded His Majesty’s “wisdom” in dealing with regional issues and praised Jordan as a model of reform, stability and sustainable development, especially in its efforts to bring followers of different faiths closer.

The leaders said that their organisations work with various decision-making circles in the US to support efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East that meets the aspirations of Palestinians and their right to establish an independent state.

The activists said they want to be engaged with Jordan as it defends Arab and Muslim causes, expressing their admiration at the way the King addresses the West.

The meeting was attended by Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, Foreign Minister and Expatriate Affairs Nasser Judeh, His Majesty’s Office Director Imad Fakhoury and Jordan’s Ambassador to the US Alia Bouran.