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United States of America
29 November 2006
Palestinian crisis Mideast core issue, King tells Bush
Amman, 29/11/2006, (Communication & Information Division - Royal Hashemite Court) -- His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday pushed for a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during talks here with US President George W. Bush, reiterating that it was the core crisis in the Middle East.
During a working dinner at Raghadan Palace, King Abdullah said that a just settlement of the problem will help moderate challenges to security posed by regional violence.
Achieving Palestinian-Israeli peace "could be a catalyst for lasting peace” between the Arab states and Israel, the King said, urging the US administration to push for the resumption of negotiations.
The US president arrived yesterday in Jordan on a two-day visit.
“The world realizes now more than ever that the only other alternative is the continuation of violence,” King Abdullah said. “The establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state on Palestinian soil living alongside a secure Israel is the only logical and internationally acceptable solution to the conflict.”
He urged international support for the Arab Peace Initiative, which was approved by Arab countries to end the conflict with Israel. The King and Bush discussed Jordanian, Egyptian and Saudi efforts to realize a peace settlement in accordance with the initiative.
Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah Khatib told reporters at the Royal Court that the King urged “real progress” in the Middle East peace process at the meeting and called on Israel to ease the harsh living conditions of the Palestinians.
Khatib said Bush "realizes clearly the dire need for a quality shift" in the process.
King Abdullah, according to the joint statement, urged the international community, including the US, to provide assistance to the Palestinians and help President Mahmoud Abbas alleviate suffering and economic pressure in the territories.
President Bush stressed that the US was committed to a two-state solution to the conflict and said the Palestinians and Israelis needed to create “appropriate circumstances” to push the peace process forward. “Attempts to obstruct peace negotiations should be stopped,” he said.
Bush was expected to hold breakfast talks today with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Maliki on ways to end the escalating violence in Iraq.
King Abdullah said during the meeting Jordan fully supports national reconciliation in Iraq. The two leaders stressed the importance of Iraq's political process and denounced all attempts to fuel violence and sectarian fighting. King Abdullah and Bush, meanwhile, agreed that the Lebanese should be allowed to resolve political tension in their country without “external interference”.
The two leaders also discussed Iran's nuclear program as well as means to enhance bilateral relations.
Bush commended Jordan's key role in regional security and stability, and thanked the Kingdom for hosting his meeting with the Iraqi premier.