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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Talks to Al-Hayat Newspaper
Amman, 24 June 2003

His Majesty King Abdullah II said that there is an international consensus, which has not been witnessed for 30 years, in supporting the Palestinian issue.

The King added, in an interview with Al Hayat Newspaper published on Tuesday, that Palestinians and Israelis are fed up of the life of violence, killing and years of war, expressing his concern over the suffering of Iraqi people.

"It is not important to win war, but to win peace, and I hope that Americans planned for peace in Iraq," the King added.

On the other hand, His Majesty affirmed that results of the Parliamentary elections came as expected, expressing his optimistic over future, a future which is charted by nations not governments.

The King said that the Islamic Movement is a basic part of the Jordanian body, adding that the Islamic Movement contributed in maintaining security and stability in Jordan and it is an organized movement realizes its limits duties, rights.

The King Affirmed that the Roadmap will be implemented, because it is the first time in the history of the US that a US President says "we need a Palestinian state within three years... and we need Palestinian and Israeli commitments."

The King also explained that the meeting of Powell and Abu Mazen was excellent.

On the other hand, The King stressed that establishing a free trade zone with the US needs a big effort from the Arab countries, pointing out to the possibilities of signing bilateral agreements followed by other collective agreements.

The King added that President Bush renewed, in Aqaba Summit, his commitment to achieve peace in the Middle East and to establish an Independent Palestinian state.

"I think President Bush is committed to reach to peace, especially that there are many positive indications which affirm that the US is serious in achieving peace'' the King added.

The King affirmed that security is very important, and its necessary to prepare the suitable ground and climate to resume negotiations through providing security for Palestinians and Israelis.

The King denied that disputes among Arabs have increased because all Arab countries have the same stand towards peace process, and all recognize the necessity of supporting the peace efforts.

Concerning the Iraqi issue, the King said that all Arab countries reject the occupation of Iraq, call for a swift withdrawal of the coalition forces and a quick forming of national Iraqi government to mange the Iraqi people's affairs.

"Jordan always works to form a unified Arab stand towards the Palestinian and Iraqi issues, because we believe that unless adopting a clear, fixed and unified stand, we will not reach a positive stand towards these two issues," the King added.

Regarding the Jordanian Parliamentary elections, the King pointed out that the elections process has been conducted smoothly and easily noted to the Islamic Movement and its role in maintaining security and stability in Jordan.

Concerning the Jordanian economy, the King said that the Jordanian economy witnessed in the past few years more development. "We overcame some imbalances which affected the economy development and we succeeded in achieving a growth exceeded 5% and this is a positive indication," the King added.