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Abdullah appeals for U.S. peacemaking

Jordan’s King Abdullah II appealed to the United States to boost its
efforts to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace. Abdullah said in a speech to
a joint session of Congress on Wednesday that all major rapprochements between Israel and the
Arab world had been achieved with Washington’s vigorous intervention, and
that addressing the Palestinians’ statehood hopes would be key to wider
stability in the Middle East. Avoiding
mention of Hamas by name or recent U.S.-brokered peace talks, Abdullah
spoke of suffering on both sides, mentioning Israel’s “40 years of
occupation” and, less directly, Palestinian violence. “People around
the world have been the victims of terrorists and
extremists, who use the grievances of this conflict to legitimize and
encourage acts of violence,” he said. “The people of the region still regard the
United States as the key to peace, the one country most capable of bringing
the two sides closer together, holding them accountable, and making a just
settlement reality,” he said. Many in the Arab world accuse the Bush
administration of overly favoring Jerusalem’s views in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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