(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK - King Abdullah II of Jordan asked world leaders on Wednesday to urge Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find lasting peace by relaunching talks based on the Arab Peace Initiative.
During his remarks before the UN General Assembly in New Y Ork, the monarch said that the conflict is a strain on the region and on the resources of his country in particular, which is the world’s third largest host to refugees, including nearly 1.4 million Syrians.
“The refugee crisis is a recognized global responsibility, and demands a global solution,” Abdullah said. “To date, the response has not kept pace with the real needs.”
He talked about the pressure that hosting so many refugees puts on the country’s infrastructure and people and urged world leaders to push for an answer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to alleviate pressure in the region.
“We cannot address the future of my region without addressing its central conflict: the denial of Palestinian rights and statehood,” Abdullah said.
The goal for the region is still a two-state solution, he said. Echoing the Egyptian president’s speech, Abdullah called for respect of the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as the capital. Without statehood, the conflict will continue and drain the region.
Leaders from the Arab world have differentiated time and again between members of ISIS and Islam. Both Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Abdullah made that distinction in front of the General Assembly, and called on world leaders not to misconstrue Muslims for extremists.
“The teachings of true Islam are clear: sectarian conflict and strife are utterly condemned,” Abdullah said. “Arab Christians are an integral part of my region's past, present, and future.”
Abdullah’s warned that world security is linked inextricably with the fate of the Arab world and urged world leaders to take decisive action to answer extremist threats.
“Together, we can and must undertake urgent humanitarian and security measures create durable solutions for today's crises and provide new opportunities for dialogue, reconciliation, prosperity and peace.”