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Press Room
News Room

News Release
Media & Communication Directorate
Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)


King: Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Is a Political Issue
Amman, 21 May 2002



His Majesty King Abdullah II reiterated that addressing the whirl of violence in the region resides in realizing that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a political and not a security issue.

"There are people suffering under occupation and unless their aspiration to establish their independent in the near future, extremism will never be eliminated," King Abdullah said in an interview with the Japanese NHK TV station on Tuesday. The King called for speedy action to get the peace process ahead and put an end to Israeli occupation. This would ensure security and stability to all countries in the region including Israel, King Abdullah added.

Answering a question on whether Prime Minister Abul Ragheb's recent visit to the West Bank and his talks with President Arafat represented a Jordanian initiative, King Abdullah said "I would like to reaffirm that we are working as one team and I think its important for the world to know that this team is the international community represented by the United States, the EU, the UN and the other countries." Our task in Jordan is to remove the obstacles that prevent the Palestinians and the Israelis from moving forward to peace negotiations, King Abdullah said noting that the Prime Minister's visit aimed to update the Palestinian leadership on the King's recent visit to Washington and what is required from President Arafat to create the favourable atmosphere to restart peace talks.

On whether Japan's role in the Middle East has not been clear enough to peoples in the region, King Abdullah said Japan's role has always been "very obvious but we may need to do more to make it much clearer," Expressing thanks for Japan's economic assistance to Jordan and for its contribution to rebuild the Palestinian infrastructure, King Abdullah said Japan has been very effective in providing aids to the Middle East countries to help give hope for the future. Commending distinguished relations linking Jordan with Japan, King Abdullah hoped that Japan would continue its political role to back peace efforts in the region.

King Abdullah said his planned visit to Japan will cover regional political problems and how to coordinate stands regarding these issues. The King's talks will also with ways to further enhance economic cooperation between the two friendly countries and how to stimulate the private sector to take up a more effective role. This is the only way to build bridges of cooperation and contact between peoples in our two countries, King Abdullah told the Japanese TV station. Tourism can also assume a significant role to develop cooperation between the two countries, the King added.

Earlier on the day, King Abdullah met at the Royal Court Head of Japanese Radio and Television (NHK) Katsuji Esawa, who is currently on a visit to Jordan for talks on ways to develop media cooperation. During the meeting, which was attended by State Minister for Political Affairs and Information Minister, Tourism Minister and Director General of Jordan TV and Radio Station, King Abdullah paid tribute to close relations linking Jordan with Japan particularly in media technologies and called for greater cooperation media services training and the exchange of media programs.

Esawa, who heads the Asian Broadcasting Corporation Union, hailed Jordan's in the region describing Jordan as "a key to peace" in the region.

" Our visit to Jordan was very useful and we will work to strengthen ties with Jordan", he said.