President Shimon Peres 521.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
President Shimon Peres met with Jordanian King Abdullah on Friday in Davos to
discuss restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Army Radio
Peres is in Switzerland to promote Israel’s economic and
diplomatic interests at the World Economic Forum.
Abdullah warned that
the window for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on a two-state
solution would not remain open indefinitely.
“The time to take action in
the Middle East is now,” was the resounding message of Abdullah’s speech at the
WEF in Davos on Friday.
“If we’re not too late... the two-state solution
will only last as long as [US President Barack] Obama’s term,” he
“If it doesn’t happen by then, I don’t think it will
The Palestinians must be granted their rights to their own
future, Abdullah said, as he called upon the international community to “end
this conflict once and for all.”
“For decades, Jordan has taken risks for
peace, because the risk of continued conflict is much worse,” he
Following this week’s elections in Israel, Abdullah said that
peace and security must be the deepest wish of all Israelis.
posited that Obama’s position as a second term president was a “tremendous
He added that in the next couple of months, Jordan would be
marching toward Washington alongside it’s international partners in the peace
process, and saying “Mr. President, it’s time to engage in the the Palestinian-
Israeli peace process.”
“Global leaders have a unique ability to make a
difference, to negotiate different paths,” he emphasized.
pointed to the Arab Peace Initiative as a proposal that could create “an
independent Palestine... and a secure Israel with normal relations with the Arab
When questioned on Hamas’s position, the Jordanian king
expressed belief that the Islamic movement was now “being a bit more realistic,
because this really is their last chance.”
He weighed up what he said
were the only two possible solutions to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict: the
two-state solution or the one state solution.
Abdullah said the latter
option “scares Israelis more.”
In an apparent reference to what Israelis
call the “demographic threat” – which sees a Palestinian majority outnumbering
the Jewish population – Abdullah added that one state would present Israel with
a dilemma between a democratic state or an apartheid state.
two-state solution is the only solution,” he concluded.
Turning to the
Syria crisis, Abdullah reiterated his call to the world to “step up.”
said Jordan has absorbed almost 300,000 Syrian refugees, and said the weakest
were struggling “just to survive the harsh winter.”
“I cannot emphasize
enough the challenges we are facing in Jordan and Lebanon,” he told the
Abdullah cautioned against the possibility of radicals taking
over communities in Syria and said the country needed a “real and inclusive
transition plan” that would guarantee it’s unity. Anything else, he said,
invited fragmentation and instability.
“Let’s not wait and see, the time
to act is now,” Abdullah urged.