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Official website of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
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Speeches
Speech of His Majesty King Abdullah II
At the 19th Arab Summit
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
29 March 2007

(Translated from Arabic)
In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz,
Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, and Your Highnesses,
Kings, Presidents and Emirs of Arab States,

Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you,

Allow me first to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, to the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its government, for hosting the 19th Arab Summit. We value the tremendous efforts exerted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to enhance Arab solidarity and unify the Arab and Islamic Nation's stance. Thanks are also due to His Excellency the Sudanese President Field Marshall Omar Al Bashir for his presidency of the 18th summit. We also renew our thanks to our Arab League and its Secretary General Amr Mousa on efforts exerted to convene this summit and ensure its success, God willing.

This summit convenes at a time when our Arab Nation is passing through the most dangerous stages of its contemporary history. The challenges and dangers facing our nation and endangering its security, identity, and future may be greater and more serious than any other test that the nation has faced in modern times. The Palestinian issue, which is the Arabs' core concern and the main cause of conflict in this region, has reached a stalemate, and the Palestinian people continue to suffer under occupation. The Iraqi people too are exposed to the worst forms of violence, killing and sedition.

Today, we have an unprecedented opportunity to regain Arab rights and establish the independent Palestinian state in accordance with international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative which was launched in 2002 by His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz. The initiative constitutes an acceptable formulation for all parties to reach a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict on all tracks. This requires full commitment to the unity of the Palestinian people, and responsible leadership that must seek with all possible means to establish the independent Palestinian state on the basis of the Arab Initiative. Any effort that disregards international legitimacy, which is supported by the international community, will have grave consequences that threaten losing the last opportunity to reach a just and comprehensive settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Peace between the Arab states and Israel cannot be reached until Israel works constructively and seriously and demonstrates her respect and commitment to the Arab Initiative, a unanimously approved proposal. This is the real challenge for leaders in the region and the world, especially the United States of America, the sponsor of the peace process. We call upon the US to adhere to President George Bush's commitment to help establish an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state, living side by side with Israel.

In this context, we appreciate the American Administration's role in recent weeks in activating the peace process to achieve the establishment of the Palestinian state on Palestinian soil.

The Arab Peace Initiative shows the Arab World's clear intentions and desire to realise a just and comprehensive peace. Hence, we urge Muslim states to affirm and demonstrate their support for this initiative and for all the efforts exerted to revive the peace process in order to realise the establishment of the Palestinian state.

Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses,

Jordan has dealt with the issues and realities of the Arab Nation as part of its historic and national duty to support its brothers. We have sought nothing but the welfare of the Arabs, their security and progress. We have been keen to foster respect for the sovereignty of each Arab state, and have rejected interference by any party in its affairs. The Palestinian question has been, since its inception, our primary national issue. And as an embodiment of these principles that we believe in, we addressed the world recently at the US Congress. There, we emphasised the need to find a just and permanent solution to the Palestinian issue which remains the Arabs' core concern and the core conflict in the region. We also made a candid appeal to the world to help save the Middle East - and even the world - before it is too late. This can be done by eliminating the injustice imposed on the Palestinians; so that they may enjoy freedom in an independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital, and so that Israel may enjoy the security that constitutes its main concern in relations with Arab states.

Recent events in our region have proven the failure of unilateral solutions imposed by force on the Palestinian people. Military options have not brought an end to the senses of despair, helplessness and injustice among people of the region that have resulted from the absence of the peace option; nor has military action eliminated extremism. Israel therefore must choose: either live in a permanent cycle of war and increasing hatred, or accept the peace option and coexistence, which is long overdue, and restore the confidence of people in the region in peace.

Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses,

The tragedy in Iraq requires a united position that will support Iraq's national reconciliation, full sovereignty over its soil, security and stability. It demands coordination with the parties in Iraq and the international community, in order for the will of life to prevail and conquer death and destruction. This will be realised by involving all sectors of Iraqi society in the political process, ending the cycle of violence, assisting all factions of the Iraqi people, preventing the spread of sectarian sedition and preventing any external interference in its affairs. The situation also demands a candid Arab stance towards the Iraqi leaderships, who must shoulder their national and historic responsibilities towards the country and its people, and towards our Arab and Islamic nation.

As for Lebanon, a cherished Arab country that faces dangers to its security and stability, Jordan reaffirms the need for an Arab and international commitment to support and assist the Lebanese government as it overcomes the repercussions of Israeli aggression. Jordan has provided and will continue to provide support for Lebanon's reconstruction and the empowerment of the Lebanese people to live in peace, security and stability. In this context, Jordan calls for the intensification of Arab and international efforts to back Lebanon's right to regain Shebaa Farms and achieve security and stability in an atmosphere of democracy, to enhance the state's sovereignty and independence of its political decisions, in order for Lebanon to enjoy its effective, leading and distinguished role in the region. We also call on Lebanese leaders to work responsibly to save their homeland, and realise peace, freedom and security for all the Lebanese, free of external interference.

With regards to the situation in brotherly Sudan and Somalia, Jordan is also keen to achieve peace and stability in Darfur, and find a just solution to the issue that would ward off any external interference in Sudan. Jordan also supports efforts to enhance security and stability and strengthen peace in Somalia.

Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses,

We face today two options: either we mobilise our strengths and unite our stances and policies so that we will have the political weight we need to confront the challenges to our security and the future of our homelands, or we remain divided by differences that weaken our global standing and become easy targets for others to interfere in our affairs and impose their own agendas. It is time for a united Arab position, for the organisation of our capabilities, powers and resources to serve our mutual interests and confront the dangers.

The challenge of security and stability in our countries requires sustained security coordination and consultation, with the objective of confronting some misled members in our societies, who use fatwas that are alien to our religion, to commit acts of terrorism. These factions only believe in destruction, killing, suicide and declarations of apostasy. Because the danger of these thoughts and these factions impacts all our homelands and threatens all our peoples, we must fight these misguided people and end their sedition. They must be resisted through concepts of enlightenment drawn from our true faith and authentic Arab traditions. This will expose the fallacious reasoning these misguided people use to justify their terrorism. It is quite obvious that cooperation in this area will definitely lead to realising what is right, the triumph of good over evil, the prevention of harm and corruption and the thwarting of terrorist acts.

The Amman Message launched by Jordan exemplified the unanimous approval of scholars from all Islamic schools of jurisprudence as to who is a Muslim, who has the authority to speak in the name of Islam and determine whether it is permissible to consider a certain individual an apostate and what constitutes acceptable conditions for that. The Amman Message has been the most important rebuttal of the ideas of those who preach sedition and sectarianism. It clarified the true principles of Islam, a religion of moderation, tolerance, peace, coexistence, openness and dialogue - and it reasserted Islam's call for Muslims to engage and participate in the progress and advancement of all humanity. This message is also key to giving Islam the voice and prominence it deserves at the global level.

Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses,

The Arab League represents an important framework for our joint action. It is the oldest regional organisation that has drafted important documents and agreements with superb content for cooperation between our countries and peoples. These agreements covered core areas in politics, such as the joint Arab defence agreement, and in the economic field, such as the two agreements for Arab economic unity in 1955, and the Arab common market agreement. These predate the many other regional economic agreements found today around the world. In this vital area, we support Kuwait's proposal to convene an Arab economic summit. We in Jordan are keen to enhance the quality of inter-Arab trade. It is time to speak of more mature and sophisticated frameworks for Arab economic cooperation. This proposed specialised economic summit constitutes the basis for discussing and then activating these frameworks. In addition to the abovementioned agreements, others have been signed in the fields of culture, sciences, media, tourism, transport, communications and security that constitute the nucleus of real, effective Arab joint action that can be developed in the future.

Despite all these agreements and regulatory frameworks, our peoples are still asking: where is the implementation and tangible results of these agreements? The answer is well known, and it is not easy to criticize ourselves, but we should not remain hostage to sorrow and grief. The road to the future to which we aspire is to reformulate our life in a way that guarantees the unity of opinion and stance, on bases that guarantee the security and safety of each country. This is nothing new. But implementation today is more urgent than ever before, especially that our identity, traditions and values are increasingly facing several forms of danger. We hope at this summit to take practical steps that will lead to the development and activation of joint action, in a manner that will give our peoples and future generations hope in a better life, and that will engage them in contributing to the process of building their societies, benefiting from today's disciplines while preserving their heritage in which human and moral values are embodied.

Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses,

The world around us is changing and moving forward. We also look to move forward. Hence our countries are in dire need of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, to enable us to build societies and update and modernise our fields of science, industry, agriculture and health. Hence we call for the establishment of an Arab centre for the peaceful use of atomic energy. We will continue to demand that Israel become a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation agreement, and that its atomic reactors be subjected to international inspection, just as those of other states in the world are. This will realise security for all the countries in the region, and guarantee that the region is free from weapons of mass destruction, which threaten the future of all humanity.

Finally, we reaffirm the need for this summit to suggest practical steps to lay the cornerstone for institutionalised and effective Arab action that will restore confidence in the Arab order, assert its credibility and enhance solidarity as a basis for cooperation, complementarity and consensus. And again we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for hosting and sponsoring this summit, and for His Majesty's continued efforts to unite Arab ranks and strengthen the Islamic stance through the major role assumed by the Kingdom in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organisation of Islamic Conference.

May God grant us all success in all that is good for our nation.

Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you.