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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Interviewed by Kuwaiti News Agency
Amman, 29 September 2002

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday stressed the need for regional and international parties to exert all efforts to spare the region the devastating consequences of an expected US war on Iraq.

In an interview with the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on the eve of a scheduled visit to the Gulf country, the King voiced hope that Arab and international action, Iraq's unconditional acceptance of the return of UN arms inspectors, and a dialogue between Iraq and the UN would preclude any military strike. He said failure in these arenas would render the situation in the region “very serious.”

King Abdullah told KUNA that dialogue is the only means for solving all outstanding problems, expressing hope that Iraq would fully comply with UN resolutions without any conditions as demanded by the international community.

The King also voiced Jordan's support for Kuwait regarding its claims, stressing that Kuwait's security is a part of Jordan's security and that of the Arab world.

He commended Jordanian-Kuwaiti relations, stressing that there is continuous coordination and consultations between the two countries.

His Majesty said that his visit to the emirate comes as part of “our joint effort with His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the emir of Kuwait, to review issues related to bilateral relations and ways for developing and enhancing them in several fields which would bring good to the peoples of Jordan and Kuwait.” He said there are no other goals behind the visit apart from coordination and consultation.

“During the past years, we have come a good way in strengthening relations between the two countries and increasing cooperation in political and economic fields,” King Abdullah said. He said both sides are working on mechanisms to activate the role of their private sectors in order to boost investments and commercial exchanges.

In the interview, His Majesty also presented his vision for the future of the deteriorating Middle East peace process, affirming that there is a US and international commitment to achieve peace in the region through the resumption of negotiations on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions "242", "338" and "1397" and in accordance with the Arab peace initiative and US President George W. Bush's policy statement on the Middle East.

"President Bush announced more than once and during our meetings that he is determined to bring about peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis that results in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that lives side by side with Israel within a span of three years," the King noted.

His Majesty also called for intensifying Arab and international efforts to help implement these commitments and to support the claims of the Palestinian people and alleviate their human suffering. He pointed out that the Palestinian people today need international efforts to support their economy, rebuild their institutions and supply them with food and other assistance to alleviate the consequences of the siege imposed on them under Israeli occupation.

The King also condemned all Israeli military actions and the arbitrary procedures it is taking against the Palestinian people, their leadership, lands and national rights. He warned that this Israeli approach and the continuation of the cycle of violence will provide neither solutions nor security for the peoples of Israel and Palestine.

The King noted that the security that the Israelis want requires their recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state, along pre-June 1967 borders.

King Abdullah also called on the international community to take keen note of the magnitude of the Palestinian tragedy. He urged world nations to work to push the peace process forward, noting that the Palestinians have endured two years of continued Israeli aggression manifested in daily killings, demolition of homes, and destruction of their institutions and infrastructure.