JERUSALEM (JTA) – Solving the core issue of the Israeli-Palestinian "problem" and that of Jerusalem will solve all the problems in the region, Jordan’s King Abdullah said.
Abdullah, on Sunday’s "Meet The Press," also said the United States must take a strong role in peace talks.
"The only way that we’re going to be able to solve this problem — if it’s left to the players, the Israelis and Palestinians by themselves, we’re not going to get anywhere," the king said. "It can only happen if there is an American umbrella with a determined American president that is going to get the Israelis and Palestinians to sit on the table because both sides historically have always come up with an excuse why not to go the last mile. And I believe that Obama understands how much this resonates."
Abdullah also said that solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem would be the best way for the United States to persuade Iran to back off its nuclear program.
He added that Israel’s neighbors in the region are concerned that Israel could attack Iran, though they do not fear an attack by the United States.
"The rogue question would be what Israel would do," Abdullah said. "And therefore, I think it is an imperative over the next month or two to start negotiations because I think any military strike against Iran would be extremely counterproductive and I, I don’t see the outcome of that.
"OK, you hit Iran. What happens then? And it’s the not knowing, I think, creates a lot of fears with all of us around the world."