Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Jordan's king in plea for revival of peace process - Financial Times

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Jordan's King Abdullah, also known as "plucky/little/king.2" or "PLK.2", is in a very awkward position. On the other side of the Jordanian border with Iraq is the Sunni region of that country, which appears to be crawling with Salafi terrorists. So that means that PLK.2 is all that is standing between Al Qaeda and a land frontier with Israel. Talk about being "between a rock and a hard place"! Understandably, (as his life depends on it), PLK.2, America's most reliable ally in the entire region, would like a little US pressure on Israel over the Palestinian question. Do you think he has much possibility of getting it? Neither do I. DS

Abstract: King Abdullah of Jordan on Monday warned of a conflagration in the Middle East over the next year if the Palestinian-Israeli peace process was not revived.(...) "There's a nine to 12 month crisis cycle in the Middle East and it is getting shorter and shorter," the king said. His statements reflect growing concern among pro-western Arab states that lack of movement on the moribund peace process is strengthening radical states and players in the region. Since the war during the summer between Israel and Lebanon's Hizbollah, Arab leaders allied to the US have warned that radicals led by Iran and Syria - Hizbollah's supporters - are on the rise and that this could only be countered by addressing the Palestine issue, the root cause of conflict in the region. The king said radicals were "feeling emboldened while moderates are in a weak position". Many states in the region, he suggested, were watching the shifts in the balance of power and looking to pick sides. King Abdullah said there was now an Arab and Muslim group working to push forward the peace process on the basis of a 2002 initiative agreed at an Arab League summit in Beirut. The Arab plan promised Israel normal relations with countries of the region if it withdrew from occupied Arab lands. Israel rejected the initiative at the time and the US ignored it. Israel's failure to crush Hizbollah during the month-long offensive, however, left the government of Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, weakened and without a clear political strategy, leading some members of the cabinet to speak more positively of the Arab initiative. (...) Regional states, including Jordan, are also trying to contain a new political crisis in Lebanon, where prime minister Fouad Siniora's government, dominated by pro-western political groups, is struggling to deflect pressure from Hizbollah for a greater share of power. Yesterday rival leaders agreed to stop media campaigns against each other in an attempt to ease tensions. More talks are planned this week on Hizbollah demands for a change of government. The Shia party has warned that it would resort to street protests to demand new elections if the talks failed to produce a cabinet that gave it greater leverage over decision-making. READ ALL


Stick said...

I've just discovered your blog thanks to a link from Juan Cole's 'Informed Comment'. Thank you for the service that you're providing... I've linked to your blog and will visit regularly as my research interests involve issues of globalization and public education.

Anonymous said...

And what do you think of Obadiah Shoher's arguments against the peace process ( samsonblinded.org/blog/we-need-a-respite-from-peace.htm )?

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Very heavy stuff. The Israelis are in an impossible position and people with atomic bombs in an impossible position are best given a wide berth.