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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Abdullah's Interview With Haaretz Newspaper
Amman, 3 August 2003

His Majesty King Abdullah II said that Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is the elected leader of the Palestinian people and his isolation does not make the situation of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas any easier.

In an Interview with the Israeli Haaretz daily, the King expressed his hope that a solution will be found for a dialogue with the Palestinian Authority Chairman.

The King said that with progress in the peace process, he hopes to be able to order the Jordanian ambassador back to Tel Aviv.

"The main focus of the effort must be directed now at reinforcing the position of the Palestinian prime minister and those who can do so are the Israelis, and mostly the Israeli leadership," His Majesty added.

The king added that the Palestinian and Israeli peoples are paying a heavy price for the violence and that the key message for the governments is that they should not wait for another generation to make peace and that they must ensure that their children, Israeli and Palestinian, grow up in a harmonious atmosphere.

King Abdullah expressed his hope that the road map will in the end bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a close.

Haaretz quoted His Majesty as saying he may visit Washington next month and that he intends to concentrate his efforts in meetings with administration officials and with President Bush in encouraging the progress of the road map and in ensuring that the two sides fulfill their obligations in full.