23 September 2010 – An end to the Middle East conflict is long overdue, Jordan’s King told the General Assembly today, calling on Israelis and Palestinians to approach the current direct talks with commitment, sincerity and courage so they can reach a durable solution.
King Abdullah II told the opening day of the Assembly’s high-level segment, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, that the status quo in the Middle East is “simply unacceptable,” undermining hopes for a broader regional peace as well.
Direct negotiations were launched earlier this month by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, when they came together in Washington D.C. under US auspices.
The Jordanian leader stressed the importance of these negotiations, which follow months of so-called proximity talks.
“There should be no provocative or unilateral actions that can derail the negotiations,” he said. “Instead, the parties must work hard to produce results, and quickly. That means addressing all final-status issues, with a view to ending the occupation, and reaching the two-State solution – the only solution that can work – as soon as possible.”
He said that Israel’s neighbours had reached out to Israel, through the Arab Peace Initiative, “with an unprecedented opportunity for a comprehensive settlement” that would ensure normal relations between Israel and 57 Arab or Muslim countries.
King Abdullah II added that the international community as a whole had a responsibility to help ensure the success of the current negotiations.
“All of us need to support swift action, hard choices and real results. The alternative is more suffering, deeper frustrations, with spreading, more-vicious warfare. Such a catastrophic scenario will continue to drag in the whole world, threatening security and stability far beyond the borders of the Middle East.”