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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King, President Bush Summit to Begin Tonight
Amman, 8 May 2002

Summit talks between His Majesty King Abdullah II and U.S. President George Bush will open after midnight (Amman local time) while tension is still overshadowing the situation in the Middle East because of the ongoing acts of violence on the Palestinian Israeli scenes.

Over the past few days, His Majesty King Abdullah stepped up his efforts through meetings with U.S. leading media institutions, congress leaders and influential powers in the United States to expound the Arab position and drum up support to the Palestinian issue as well as to explain the tremendous suffering of the Palestinian people and the dangers threatening the region's security and stability as a result of the continuation of conflict.

On Wednesday, King Abdullah held a series of meeting with U.S. congressmen including Tom Daschle (majority leader), Trent Lott (minority leader), Robert Bennet and Arlen Spector from the Foreign Aid Committee, Mitch MacConnel (Leader of Foreign Operations Sub-committee).

The King's talks during the meetings focused on the tense situation in the region stressing the necessity to rid the Palestinians and the Israelis of the present dilemma and to put an end to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian areas. In case of failure, the consequences will be dangerous, King Abdullah warned.

King Abdullah also expressed his deep worry about the deteriorating security situation in the Palestinian territories and the effect of that on stability in the entire region. Acts of violence and explosive attacks can never be averted unless a political solution to the roots of the problem can be reached, King Abdullah said.

During his meeting, accompanied by Queen Rania, with Leader of Foreign Relations Committee Joseph Biden and leading member of the committee Jesse Helms, King Abdullah said there is still an opportunity for co-existence for the Palestinians and the Israelis. The two peoples want to live in peace and security in the region, King Abdullah said noting the peace initiatives in hand particularly the Arab peace initiative, which can serve as spring board for solution.

"We need to plant hope in the peoples in the region on the basis of mutual acceptance and through ensuring elements of security and stability for all people," King Abdullah said.

King Abdullah's talks with congress leaders also covered bilateral relations where the congressmen showed understanding of Jordan's economic needs and stressed their supports King Abdullah's efforts to develop national economy.

In press remarks on the possibility of reaching a solution to the crisis in the region, King Abdullah said there must be a solution because "if we leave the door open for the extremists there won't be security and stability either for us or for our children and even for the United States," King Abdullah added.

We should move forward to reach a political solution and it is in hand if there is enough commitment and courage, the King said. Majority leader at the congress highly appreciated King Abdullah's leadership at this critical time.

"We appreciate His Majesty's views and his political vision and everything he does to clarify the situation in the region and to ensure security and stability," he told reporters.