Jordan's king calls for urgency in Mideast

2012-04-18 19:18
Brussels - Jordan's King Abdullah II called for "a quantum leap forward" on Wednesday in efforts to strike an Israel-Palestinian peace deal, warning time was fast running out.

"We cannot afford one more generation in waiting for a Palestinian state," the Jordanian monarch said in a vibrant speech to the European parliament that drew repeated rounds of applause.

"There is no time to wait," he said. "The Arab Spring is rooted in a profound call for human respect. No affront is felt more deeply than the Israeli occupation."

"The longer Palestinian suffering endures, the longer settlement-building continues, the greater the frustrations, dangers and unknowns."

King Abdullah said that if talks on a two-state solution collapsed, Israel would be "further than ever from real security".

"It would take decades, even generations for peace to regain the initiative," he said.

The king said the decade-old Arab Peace Initiative remained the only blueprint, with two states living side by side on the 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as capital of a "sovereign, viable and independent" Palestine, and "collective peace and security guarantees" for Israel.

Amman earlier this year coaxed Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to return to talks after the collapse of direct negotiations in 2010.

Describing the renewed contacts as "baby steps", King Abdullah said "now the process requires a quantum leap forward".

Read more on:    king abdullah ii  |  palestine  |  israel  |  middle east peace
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