Official website of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Press Room
News Room

News Release
Media & Communication Directorate
Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Abdullah II interview with CNBC
Amman, 20 June 2003

His Majesty King Abdullah II said that during Aqaba summit held at the beginning of this month, we had realized that at the first days of implementation of the road map miracles will not take place. In an interview with CNBC last night, he said also that we have to work for building confidence between the Israeli and Palestinian sides in order to achieve results in the near future.

His Majesty expressed his belief that the Americans will ask Israelis and Palestinians to commit themselves to what is expected from them in the roadmap. We believe that the Americans are in a better position to know whose side is reluctant than the other and on what side pressure should be laid, he affirmed.

His Majesty pointed out that the quartet committee's meeting at the Dead Sea will have a role in explaining what Palestinians and Israelis should do within the road map framework.

He affirmed that there are numerous obstacles before the Palestinain Prime Minster Mahmoud Abbas where he (Abbas) feels himself powerless before them.

The King urged for lifting the suffering the Palestinian people are living through in order to empower the Prime Minster.

Responding to a question regarding the consequences of American presence in Iraq on peace in the Middle East, His Majesty said that the American presence has consequences on the short term because most of peoples in the Middle East are still skeptic concerning the American intentions regarding Iraq. But in case of restoring normal life to Iraq and the Iraqis would have the right to self determination, in addition to the American President's commitment to the peace process, things will begin to improve and the reaction in the Middle East will be positive, His Majesty said.

His Majesty stressed the necessity to work for elimination of all weapons of mass destruction in the region. What we hope in Jordan and the region is that the region, from Morocco at the Atlantic to the Indian ocean, would become free of weapons of mass destruction, His Majesty said. There are countries in the region where we hope pressure would be practiced against them in the future, in order to stop their armament programs,he added. Dialogue is the sole means to deal with them because other alternatives lead to violence, he said.

Concerning His Majesty's position regarding President Bush's ideas about democracy in the Middle East, King Abdullah II said that since a solution is there for the core issue in the Middle East "the Israeli, Palestinian Arab Issue," which is used by all parties as a pretext for not achieving progress towards democracy and freedom, we, in Jordan, believe that democracy and freedom for all in the region will be achieved rapidly.

His Majesty said that the idea of holding WEF at the Dead Sea came last January, where, unfortunately, expectations of war in Iraq were there accompanied by problems engulfing the peace process.

Yet we felt that a meeting at the beginning of summer for being more close and transcend a lot of problems was the driving force behind holding WEF.

His Majesty said that the free trade agreement with USA helped us a lot, where three years ago our exports to US did not exceed $50 m. while they have so far reached $1billion, in addition to affording 20-30 thousand job opportunities.