Moroccan King Backs Peres Campaign

King Hassan II of Morocco has lent his firm support to Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, saying that the Middle East peace process would be in danger if his Labor Party lost Israel’s May 29 national elections.

“We must pray to prevent disaster. The risk of a change of majority [in Israel] does not — and this is an understatement — augur well for the peace process,” Hassan told the French daily Le Figaro in an interview published this week.

Peres has a slim lead in the polls over hardline Likud rival Benjamin Netanyahu in the race for prime minister.

A considerable number of Israeli voters are still undecided.

Hassan’s country is viewed by the West as an anchor of stability in a region that has become a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism.

He warned in the interview about the disastrous results of a new Arab-Israeli war, which he speculated could involve nuclear and chemical weapons.

Morocco established low-level diplomatic relations with Israel in 1994.

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