In a wide-ranging conversation with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria at the World Economic Forum, His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan described US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as “a complication for Jordan” and for a Palestinian peace plan – even as he pinned hopes on the viability of an eventual American peace proposal and underscored the need for US participation in the peace process.
Asked by Zakaria about US President Donald Trump’s statement that the Iran sanctions waiver he recently approved would be the “last one”, King Abdullah II said, “The Jordanian position is that we have been fully supportive of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East for everyone,” adding that “we understand the position of the Europeans and the US, and hope they come to a common understanding.”
Describing Jerusalem as a city sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, he said that, despite the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, “We cannot have a peace process or a peace solution without the participation of the United States.” He added, however, that “the hiccup is the Palestinians don’t think the US is an honest broker.”
When asked whether he thought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was serious about a two-state solution, the King responded, “We have to reserve judgment. I have my scepticism.” A one-state solution, he suggested, could only be judged on whether equal rights would be granted to Palestinian Arabs.
King Abdullah II reflected on the Arab Spring, saying it was “started by young people who wanted change – change that they deserved,” but that it was “hijacked by religious organizations with an extremist agenda.” The current turmoil of the Middle East contrasts poorly with Africa, he said: “They have trade, they are combating terrorism. Africa has moved beyond where we are in the Middle East. When you look at Africa, they’re showing us the right direction.”