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Speeches
Speech of His Majesty King Abdullah II
At the 15th Arab Summit
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
1 March 2003

(Translated from Arabic)
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Issa Aal-Khalifah, President of the Arab Summit
Your Majesties, Excellencies, Royal Highnesses, Kings, Presidents and Emirs of Arab States,

Peace be upon you, God's mercy and His blessings,

This summit convenes while our nations face the most difficult of conditions and challenges, thus demanding our utmost wisdom, realism and sense of responsibility towards our peoples, who have suffered the devastation and consequences of war for decades. We face today an imminent war on Iraq. Our Iraqi brethren will not suffer alone the effects and destruction of any such war. The whole region will.

The main challenge facing this summit is how to avert this war, and how to prevent Iraq, and the peoples of this region, additional calamity and destruction.

Based on this conviction, Jordan has done all it can, and drawn on its international relations to seek a political solution for this problem. Jordan has also exercised enormous efforts with the United States president and his administration to dissuade them from the use of force, and to settle this crisis by peaceful means.

And Jordan today stresses further the danger of this situation, and warns of Iraq's potential division if war were to erupt.

Despite the fact that the chance to avert a war on Iraq and the region has weakened, we should not stop our sincere efforts to avoid such a war. Based on this, Jordan asserts the need to support any action which will help Iraq avoid any military strike, and to use all possible means to spare the region the effects of this war. Jordan also stresses the need to settle this crisis through peaceful means, and to give adequate time to the international inspectors to conclude their mission. Jordan stresses the importance of Iraq's continued cooperation with the UN and implementation of all related international resolutions, including 1441, in order to ward off the military strike which has become imminent.

Since the focus now is on the necessity of Iraq's compliance with and implementation of UN resolutions, Jordan demands that the same focus given to Iraq's implementation of United Nation resolutions, be applied to the Arab-Israeli conflict so that the entire Middle East region becomes free of weapons of mass destruction.

As for the Palestinian issue, Jordan has steadfastly exerted all possible efforts to launch a peace process anew. Jordan also ceaselessly sought, in consultation and liaison with its Arab brethren, to realise the Arab Peace Initiative, which received unanimous Arab endorsement. This initiative has stressed the imperative of an Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, an agreed solution to the refugee problem based upon UN resolution 194, and recognition of Israeli security needs.

Following the Arab Peace Initiative, Jordan has contributed along with other Arab states to influencing a major transformation in the United States' position towards a focus on the political dimension of the conflict and the final solution to it, rather than a focus on security issues alone. The outcome of this effort was demonstrated in the US President's speech, on his vision of peace in the region through two states, Palestinian and Israeli, by the year 2005. For the first time ever, the US spoke of a Palestinian state, within a set time frame.

Jordan then continued its efforts to translate the US commitment and the international consensus on a Palestinian state within a three-year period into a practical, implementable plan by helping assemble the provisions of the Road Map. This Road Map specifies the commitments for both sides, time lines for the execution of such commitments, and a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to be undertaken by the international Quartet, thus ensuring proficient execution, and preventing any non-compliance in the realisation of commitments.

Jordan worked as well to introduce the necessary amendments on this Road Map, to ensure its recognition of legitimate Arab rights, as it will represent the right base for an Arab Israeli settlement, once ratified by the Quartet.

Based on the above, Jordan stresses the importance of accepting the Road Map, once declared as one package. None of the concerned parties may accept parts and reject others of the map, as Israel is currently doing. Israel principally accepts the map, but objects to the time frame, to the freezing of settlement activities, and to the monitoring mechanism. This does not constitute acceptance of the map, but rather an effort to undermine its foundations.

Jordan has stressed to the US that the Road Map may fail to see the light if all parties do not endorse it as a whole package. Today, we stress the importance of the publication of this Road Map, as well as securing international commitment to implement it as soon as possible, especially after the US has taken a decision to postpone it till after the Israeli elections.

Majesties, Excellencies, and Highnesses,

The world around us looks to this summit with great interest. We have to stress in our summit the importance HRH Prince Abdullah Ben Adel Aziz's Initiative to revitalise joint Arab action, and our people's right to enjoy security, peace and development. And we have to stress that the opportunity remains for a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Iraq issue, based on legitimate international resolutions, which should be the first point of reference in settling any conflict, anywhere in the world, by all states and without exception, discrimination, or the imposition of another's will upon another.

Finally, we thank the Lebanese Republic, the Egyptian Arab Republic, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the Arab League for all their good efforts in convening this Summit.

Peace be upon you, God's mercy, and His blessings.