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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Abdullah II Receives Senate Members
Amman, 30 April 2002

His Majesty King Abdullah II Tuesday received Senate members and president. Following are His Majesty's remarks: "It is a pleasure to greet you and express affection and pride in every one of you and of our one big family, particularly, in these days where we share our Palestinian kinsmen and brethren their suffering under siege, killing and destruction among other things due to the Israeli offensive against the Palestinian cities and lands.

I know that every Jordanian citizen and family has a kinship or friendship amongst our kinsmen and brethren in Palestine. Relation with our brethren there is that of blood and fraternity that exists amongst sons of one people and one family. The suffering of sons of Hebron is that of sons of Kerak, and the suffering of sons of Nablus is that of sons of Salt, and we all, eastern the river or western it, are one people and one family. There is no Jordanian citizen, first of them I myself , that does not feel severe anger pertaining the killing, siege and starvation imposed against our kinsmen.

I found it necessary and a duty to talk to you today and to brief you on what is going on , and on Jordan's stand and what we are doing to support our kinsmen and brethren in these difficult ambience since the Israeli offensive against the Palestinian people and leadership. We believed that the target of the offensive is to destroy the Palestinian people's will and to demolish the infrastructure of all Palestinian National Authority establishments , and to isolate the Palestinian leadership or replace it with another one, and to make the situation in the region seem as if it is a security issue without talking about the real causes of the problem, that is the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

That is why we instantly moved to contact the American administration, the European countries and the Arab world in order to stop the offensive. Consequently, the United States and the world started to deal with the issue as a political rather than security one, and talks have begun about a political track by the security one, and we will continue our utmost efforts until the Palestinians reach their rights and establish their independent state. Let us be more candid, some people inside Jordan or outside it demanded the closure of the Israeli embassy or expelling the ambassador...

But ,I said before this time, if we would close the embassy or expel the ambassador the other side would close the bridges, and in this case we will not be able to make aid, donations or any kind of material assistance reach our kinsmen under siege. This means that the closure of the embassy or expelling the ambassador will have negative consequences on our kinsmen and brethren more than the expected negative consequences on Israel. Actually, during the past weeks, Jordan was the sole outlet through which all Jordanian and Arab aid passed to our kinsmen , including the Jordanian field hospitals in Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and Hebron.

On the other side, if the Arab world seeks to achieve peace with Israel and the concerned parties are negotiating Israel to reach peace agreements and establish normal relations with it... why overbidding against Jordan and Egypt. In Short , supporting our kinsmen and brethren in Palestine is a duty of each one of us and we all with our utmost are with our kinsmen and brethren in Palestine.

But what we all should know is that support to our kinsmen and brethren is not only by collecting donations and marches and demonstrations, but our main support is in moves and contacts and using our relations with the world, affecting their stands to support the Palestinian rights and instantly pull out the Israeli army from all Palestinian cities and lands unconditionally. We affirmed to the American administration and to all countries that we contacted the necessity to practice utmost pressure on Israel to stop this offensive and instantly pull out of the Palestinian territories.

Concerning the Palestinian leadership, let us speak frankly. There was a real attempt to replace brother Abu Ammar and end his role of leading the Palestinian people. And we had to reaffirm to all parties that we, in Jordan and the Arab world, do not recognize any leadership for the Palestinian people other than the legitimate and elected leadership, in the forefront brother Yasser Arafat, and that any attempt to replace brother Abu Ammar is a conspiracy against the Palestinian people, and it will be a catastrophe on the whole region. Thank God that our efforts in this regard have been successful and more than one meeting took place between Abu Ammar and the American Secretary of Sate.

As for the most important issue, where we stressed that the issue in the Palestinian territories is a political rather than a security one, as Israel tries to show. We affirmed also, to all countries concerned in the peace process in the Palestinian and Arab territories, that the Israeli occupation is the core of conflict in the region, and that it is a must to return to negotiations and set a timetable for the implementation of international legitimacy resolutions, ending the occupation and establishment of independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. I stressed also that the initiative of His Royal Highness Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, approved by Arab leaders in Beirut , is a major base to achieve lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.

As for talking about a mere American vision for the establishment of a Palestinian state, without setting a new course for dealing with the issue, and without a mechanism and a timetable, it is insufficient, and action should be taken to end the occupation and establish independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Be sure that we will be by our Palestinian brethren with all of our utmost and we will not give up our duty of supporting them and advocating their right under any circumstance."