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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King meets with think-tank members
New York, 24 September 2012

His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday appealed to the international community to join efforts to find a quick and fair solution to the worsening Syrian crisis.

King Abdullah called on the world to put an end to the bloodshed, while preserving the territorial integrity of the country and the unity of its people.

During a meeting with a number of economic and intellectual leaders at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the King discussed the difficulties Jordan is incurring in hosting over 200,000 Syrian refugees.

The King warned of the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria, pointing out the need for the international community to help Jordan host the increasing number of refugees.

His Majesty reaffirmed the importance of intensifying international efforts to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis, avoiding further suffering and tragedy.

The King discussed during the meeting the efforts Jordan is exerting to provide the best services for Syrian refugees, within the capacity and capabilities available in the Kingdom, and in light of the Arab and international aid the country is receiving.

On the Palestinian-Israeli front, His Majesty reaffirmed that the Palestinian cause is the central issue for Jordan and that reaching a two-state solution is the only way to stability and security, before it is “too late”.

Reaching a solution for the Palestinian cause will prevent all parties from using the conflict as an excuse to drag it into the unknown, he added.

His Majesty voiced the need for the international community to push for restarting negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, allowing the Palestinian people to achieve their right to an independent state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace with Israel.

On the other hand, the King said that the Arab Spring gave Jordan an opportunity to engage in comprehensive reforms that meet Jordanians’ aspirations.

The Arab Spring was a cry for freedom, democracy and a better future, the King said.

He highlighted the progress already achieved in Jordan, including constitutional amendments, the establishment of the Independent Elections Commission and preparations for a new Parliament in early 2013, in addition to the Constitutional Court, which will be established soon.

The King said the reform sought by Jordan is based on balancing freedoms and responsibilities to achieve a reform aligned with the demands and hopes of all parties, emphasising that there is no other option but to achieve comprehensive reform in various domains.

The King laid emphasis on the fact that the reform process is comprehensive, accommodating everyone without serving anyone’s personal agenda.

Responding to questions by Council members, the King called on the international community to assume its responsibility towards what is happening in Syria and end the people’s suffering.

His Majesty voiced his belief that a solution to Palestinian cause is the way to overcome the challenges facing the people in the Middle East.

Regarding the Iranian nuclear programme, the King insisted on dialogue to resolve disagreements, reaffirming Jordan’s calls for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.

The King pointed to the Amman Message and Jordan’s efforts to engage in interfaith dialogue, stressing his condemnation of acts involving disrespect of religions.

Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, His Majesty’s Office’s Director Imad Fakhoury, Jordan’s Ambassador in Washington Alia Bouran and Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the UN His Royal Highness Prince Zeid Bin Raad attended the meeting.

The Council on Foreign Relations was established in 1921 by seasoned American politicians to provide and analyse information on world affairs and US foreign policy.

Headquartered in New York, the Council convenes in Washington and other US cities, has hosted 4,700 government officials, businesspersons, journalists and academicians, in addition to community and religious leaders.