We circulate below an interview given to Richard Beeston of The Times by King Abdullah II of Jordan. Agency and Israeli comment so far concentrates on the King's insistence on the need for immediate action on peacemaking, and on his "57 state" solution.
From Times Online
May 11, 2009
King Abdullah: 'This is not a two-state solution, it is a 57-state solution'
How has the Pope’s visit gone?
I think it’s gone extremely well. I said to His Holiness that this is the right time. You’re coming here on a spiritual pilgrimage with a message of peace… as a signal of hope for what we’re planning to do on the political aspect. It is all part of one major effort. This is a critical crossroads that we need to take advantage of.
So this is good timing between your visit to Washington and before President Obama’s visit to Cairo?
I concentrated in my discussions with him on his being the spiritual dimension while I work on the politics of this. The trickle-down effect to the people has always been the challenge. So the message of reconciliation, the message of hope for the future of Jerusalem comes at a perfect time because there has been a flurry of activity over the past six weeks, after the Doha summit and what the Arab nations are doing as part of the Arab peace proposal. [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s expected visit to Washington next week will be the turning point.
Obviously, I’m sure President Obama is keeping his cards close to his chest until he hears what Prime Minister Netanyahu has to say. I think the President is committed to the two-state solution. He is committed to the two-state solution now. He feels the urgency of the need to move today. Because we’re not working for peace in a vacuum, with others not there. So this is a critical moment.( Collapse )