King at National Prayer Breakfast: There is always a chance for peace

Washington, DC
02 February 2023

His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday said that to Jordan and the Hashemite family, Jerusalem has never been about politics, but an issue of personal concern for more than one hundred years.
Delivering the keynote address at the 71st National Prayer Breakfast Gathering in Washington, DC, King Abdullah said, “for more than a hundred years, we have been entrusted with the Hashemite Custodianship of the city’s Muslim and Christian holy sites”, noting that the Hashemites’ lives have been entwined with that of the city for generations.
In the address—delivered to a number of political, ideological, and religious leaders from the United States and other countries, in the attendance of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II—His Majesty recalled his late grandfather King Abdullah I’s assassination on the steps of Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque.
“My father, the future King Hussein, was standing at his grandfather's side. He survived the bullets by a miracle. His experience that day and his trust in God flowed into a life-long, relentless pursuit of peace,” the King continued.
“I remember so well how in his last days, he flew here to DC from Mayo Clinic, during his chemotherapy treatment, to help see through a new round of peace talks. For him, peace was always possible, and always the priority,” His Majesty added.
The King stressed that “there is always a chance for peace”, noting that “the different peoples of the Middle East have lived in harmony far more than they have lived in discord”.
His Majesty said that instead of more political process, “we need our faith: the moral imagination to believe in a better, more just world,” to achieve peace.
“We need the will to see our common humanity, rise above divisive rhetoric, and build the mutual trust our future desperately needs,” the King added.
This starts with words of mutual respect, His Majesty continued, “like our conversation today” at the National Prayer Breakfast gathering, which brings together thought and political leaders from different religious backgrounds and beliefs.
The event also featured remarks via telepresence from US President Joe Biden, and a recorded video message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.