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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