US has new ME peace plan - king

2009-05-16 19:11

Amman - The US is expected to announce soon a new plan to kick-start the deadlocked Middle East peace talks, Jordan's King Abdullah II told AFP in an interview on Saturday.

"We expect an announcement from the US administration... of its plan to restart negotiations to achieve a comprehensive solution," in the Middle East, the king said.

"A resolution to the conflict is an American strategic interest," he said.

"And we hope that it (Washington) will announce this plan as soon as possible, because lost time undermines the chances for peace. There is a tremendous need to move quickly, seriously and effectively," he added.

The king, a key US ally, gave no details on the expected plan.

But he warned that "the possibilities of a new round of violence, a new war, will increase and the region and the world will pay the price", in the absence of any resolution.

"We believe that progress towards a solution requires a leading American role and European, Arab and international support."

Words and deeds

King Abdullah urged US President Barack Obama last month in Washington to back Palestinian statehood in "words as well as deeds", and pressed Israel to choose between integration or isolation in the Middle East.

He said Obama "understands the urgency of the situation today, and understands that procrastination threatens the security of the region and the world".

"President Obama has announced his commitment to the two-state solution within a comprehensive approach to achieve comprehensive peace," he added.

Obama is expected to lay out the framework of the plan when he visits Cairo for a major speech to the Muslim world next month.

Expectations in the Arab world are that the speech will present the outlines of a peace plan, including the recognition of Israel by 57 states.