Abdullah: Israel holding Mideast hostage

During press conference in Romania, Jordanian king says Israel should accept Arab peace initiative.

king abdullah jordan 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
king abdullah jordan 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Jordan's King Abdullah II said Monday that an Arab peace initiative offers a solution for peace in the Middle East, adding that Israel should seize the opportunity or risk ongoing conflict in the region. "Israel must decide whether they want to observe this opportunity and become integrated in the region or whether they want to remain a fortress ... and keep the Middle East hostage in conflict," Abdullah said in Bucharest, during an official visit. The king met Romanian President Traian Basescu Monday and discussed bilateral issues and the need for peace in the Middle East. The initiative offers Israel recognition by all Arab countries in exchange for withdrawal from territory captured in 1967, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and a "just solution" to the problem of Palestinian refugees. Basescu said he and Abdullah also discussed the possibility that Romanian and Jordanian companies start working in Iraq "after the troops retreat but even before". Romania and Jordan signed four documents on bilateral cooperation during the king's visit to Bucharest. They deal with economic cooperation, the mutual protection of investments, cultural and scientific cooperation and environmental protection. Abdullah was accompanied by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Suhair Al Ali. The Jordanian king is on a tour of Eastern Europe and will also visit the Czech Republic and Slovakia.