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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

His Majesty King Abdullah II Warns Of Isolating Palestinian Leadership
Amman, 2 February 2002

His Majesty King Abdullah said that the Middle East lives in a state of tension as a result of not reaching a solution for the basic cause which is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In an interview with Cable News Network (CNN) on Friday, His Majesty warned that isolating the Palestinian leadership will push the Palestinians to the edge.

His Majesty pointed that there is an impression in the Middle East the the US is moving in one direction for the benefit of the Israelis and that the US is convinced that Palestinians respond to everything while the Israelis do not commit any wrong action.

His Majesty explained the daily suffering of the Palestinians and the economic and social deterioration while many in the world do not feel what they go through.

King Abdullah pointed that the Jordanian field hospital in Ramallah has operated 500 surgeries and provided medical treatment for more than 60,000 Palestinians since the beginning of intifada and this points to the fact that it is hard to convince people in the region that there is a US methodology that takes the welfares of the two parties into consideration.

His Majesty expressed his worry over the continued violence in the region pointing that it shows the despair which Palestinians face.

Answering a question on the Israeli Prime minister`s coming visit to Washington during which he is expected to ask President Bush to continue the isolation of President Arafat, the King said that this will complicate things more and push Palestinians towards extremism. His Majesty added that most of the Palestinians and Israelis had enough of this situation and want to see an end for it.

As a President of the Arab summit, His Majesty expressed worry in case President Arafat does not attend the coming Arab summit as a result of continuing the Israeli blockade on him.