Jordan's Abdullah 'pessimistic' about peace prospects

In 'Washington Post' interview Jordanian king discusses positive role of Jordan in peace process but says 2011 will be "a very bad year for peace."

King Abdullah_311 reuters (photo credit: Alexander Natruskin / Reuters)
King Abdullah_311 reuters
(photo credit: Alexander Natruskin / Reuters)
Jordan's King Abdullah is "pessimistic" about the possibility of a peace agreement in the coming years, he said in an interview with The Washington Post.
In the interview he stated "2011 will be, I think, a very bad year for peace. Although we will continue to try to bring both sides to the table, I am the most pessimistic I have been in 11 years."
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He also said that the conservative political climate in Israel has made it impossible for concessions to be made for peace.
Abdullah discussed the Arab Spring, saying "I think this is really a defining moment for the Arab world. The problem is, it is all going to be about blood, sweat and tears. .. I think initial instability is something that we are all extremely nervous of.”
On the role that Jordan had to play in the ongoing peace process Abdullah stated “Jordan has to show the Arab world that there’s another way of doing things. We’re a monarchy, yes, but if we can show democracy that leads to a two-, three-, four-party system – left, right and center – in a couple of years’ time, then the Muslim Brotherhood will no longer be something to contend with.”
Regarding the Iranian threat, he said “When [Prime MInister Binyamin] Netanyahu keeps saying to us, ‘Iran, Iran, Iran,’ I go back to him: “peace, peace, peace.” Because the first people who will stand up and say, ‘Iran, stop pointing rockets in our direction,’ will be the Palestinians.”
Addressing the future of the Middle East, Abdullah emphasized the importance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying “You’re always going to have terrorism. The problem with Al-Qaida, Hamas and all these groups is that they use the Israeli-Palestinian issue as a recruiting ground . Al-Qaida disappears as an international organization when Israel-Palestine as an issue is taken off the table.”