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Ties with Netanyahu very strong, says Abdullah

March 19, 2013 07:30

In 'Atlantic' interview, Jordanian king says it may be "too late" for two states, says Israel must choose apartheid or democracy.

Jordan King Abdullah

Jordan King Abdullah 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Jordanian King Abdullah in a series of exclusive interviews with American magazine The Atlantic said that his relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is "very strong," and that their discussions "have really improved."

The interview follows media reports that surfaced at the beginning of March quoting sources as saying Netanyahu and Abdullah met in Jordan. The Prime Minister’s Office neither confirmed nor denied the report.

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Abdullah expressed worry about the prospects of a two state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians, saying "it could be too late already" for the peace process.

"It could be too late already for the two-state solution,” he said. “I don’t know. Part of me is worried that is already past us."

Speaking on an alternative, he responded to his interviewer with one single word: "Israstine," referring to a word popularized by the late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to describe a joint Arab-Jewish state.

He added that "apartheid or democracy" would be Israel's options if two independent states were not created side by side in reference to the so called one state solution.

“The practical question is, can Israel exert permanent control over Palestinians who are disenfranchised ad infinitum, or does it eventually become a South Africa, which couldn’t survive as a pariah state?” Abdullah stated. He added that if Israel wants to remain a Jewish state, “the only way” is to have a neighboring Palestinian state.

The king refused to mention joint Jordanian-Israeli operations, but according to the interviewer, several sources in Amman and Tel Aviv said Israeli drones are "monitoring the Jordan-Syria border on Jordan’s behalf, and that military and intelligence officials from the two countries are in constant contact, planning for post–Bashar Assad chaos."

Abdullah was firm about the persistence of his country's peace treaty with Israel. In reference to possible new power sharing arrangements in his kingdom, Abdullah, he drew one red line: “I don’t want a government to come in and say, ‘We repudiate the peace treaty with Israel.’ ”

Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994 when the late Yitzhak Rabin was Prime Minister of Israel and Abdullah's father the late Hussein I was king.
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