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His Majesty King Abdullah's Interview with CNN
Amman, 7 May 2002

His Majesty King Abdullah II stressed the need to move quickly towards a final resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the peace process needs to be pushed forward within the next few weeks.

The establishment of the Palestinian state on the Palestinian land should be within "a reasonable timeframe that we all agree on," King Abdullah said in an interview with CNN news network Monday. "If we only keep talking about establishing a Palestinian state during the coming 10 or 15 years then we would achieve no progress at all", King Abdullah added.

The King said his talks with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell focused on how to put forward a vision for a series of reasonable steps to bring the Palestinians and the Israelis closer together and that such steps should be based on the Saudi peace initiative which represents the Arab olive branch for Israelis so that they (the Israelis) can be part of this region.

On the message he intends to convey to President Bush during their meeting on Wednesday, King Abdullah said "Our relations have always characterized with truthfulness and clarity and I believe there is mutual trust between us and if we want to be very candid then I would tell him that although tension in the region has been slightly reduced, there is still too mush frustration and despair in the Arab street."

"If there's no hope in the next couple of weeks of finding a vision for the future, then the rage will be back to an all-time high," King Abdullah warned. A vision for peace should be launched within a couple of weeks on the bases of Security Council resolutions 242, 338 and 1397 in addition to the Arab peace proposals and the outcome of all of this should the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, the King said.

On the proposed Middle East peace conference, King Abdullah said in addition to the political aspects, the conference should address the tremendous suffering of the Palestinian people and should also tackle political, economic and social needs at the same time.

"We should be careful with this conference because there won't be magic solutions," King Abdullah said. And it doesn't mean that Israel would, all of sudden, make peace with its neighbours and there would be a Palestinian state once the conference is convened agree because this needs procedures, the King added.

Without a final solution to the Middle East issue, there will be extremists on both sides, King Abdullah said. The closer we come to the establishment of the Palestinian state, the closer we will also be to fulfilling Israel's hopes, King Abdullah added.