After my post about King Abdullah II’s sobering comments that war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanan may be “imminent” to a group of Congressmen organized by Representative Adam Schiff last week, I received a clarification from the Embassy of Jordan that I am glad to post as an update to the meeting and discussion.
From a Spokesperson of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan:
Please note that what His Majesty discussed with Congressional members was not confined to the Lebanese border.
The King told Congressional leaders that there is lot of tension in the region on a number of fronts; in Gaza, in Jerusalem, and on the Lebanese border given that some Lebanese say war could be imminent.
He added that the lack of progress in Mideast peace talks is likely to trigger another cycle of violence in the region, which, in turn is disastrous for all of us.
I admire King Abdullah II greatly for his constant emphasis that the Israel-Palestine standoff needs to be pushed forward towards a credible two state track. He is passionate about the importance of moving this forward, and one gets the sense from listening to him that at some point Jordan’s own national posture and its good relations with the US and its relationship with Israel are jeopardized by perpetuation of the status quo.
I have heard King Abdullah speak on this subject at the Clinton Global Initiative — after which President Bill Clinton and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan followed up saying that the paralysis on Mideast peace talks is harming everyone’s interests and must be kicked back to life.
The video above is from a luncheon I attended at the Center for Strategic and International Studies when Jordan’s King offered the same line of argument.
My Congressional sources said that the King was emphatic in the meeting last week that the status quo would not remain stable — and that the region would soon be consumed in another wave of violence if the Obama administration and other stakeholders did not move quickly to get parties moving forward on peace talks.
— Steve Clemons