Abdullah: Next weeks critical for ME

Jordan's king meets Canadian PM; both agree 2-state solution is vital for peace.

abdullah canada pm 298.8 (photo credit: AP)
abdullah canada pm 298.8
(photo credit: AP)
The next few weeks are critical in reviving the Middle East peace process, Jordan's King Abdullah II said Friday. Abdullah spoke after a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The two agreed that peace in the Middle East could only be achieved through a two-state solution. The Jordanian leader was in Ottawa where he tried to persuade Canada to take a greater role in Middle East peace talks. Canada supports both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but all involved in the region must recognize that the cornerstone of lasting peace must be a two-state solution, Harper told reporters. "We share a commitment to promote peace in the region. We are both supportive of the Palestinian government. Abbas and Prime Minister Fayad and are close friends and partners with Israel," the Canadian leader said. Jordan is one of the few Arab states that recognize Israel, and is actively trying to kick-start a new peace process. During the king's visit, Harper said Canada would stop its freeze on financial aid to the Palestinian Authority headed by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, following in the footsteps of the European Union and the United States. Western governments suspended aid to the Palestinian government after Hamas won legislative elections in early 2006. After the collapse of a unity government with Abbas's Fatah faction, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip last month. Abbas's Palestinian Authority retained power in the West Bank, essentially giving the Palestinians two governments. King Abdullah has been a supporter of Abbas. The United States, Israel and much of the West has been trying to shore up Abbas's authority in hopes that the West Bank can be made into a democratic example that would undermine support for Hamas in Gaza.