Blair, Jordan's Abdullah Stress the Need to Establish a Palestinian State
Jordan's King Abdullah II and British Prime Minister Tony Blair stressed during talks Thursday the need to establish a Palestinian state, a palace official told AFP.
Blair was in Amman as part of a whirlwind Middle East tour in which he was aiming to bolster support for the US-led war on terrorism and attempt to revive the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"The two leaders stressed the need to put the peace process back on track and reaffirmed that the process should clear the way for the creation of a Palestinian state," the official said.
Blair stressed the "right of the Palestinians to establish their state and enjoy security, stability and prosperity, while underlining Israel's right to exist and to security," the official added.
King Abdullah called for "an end to the violence in all its forms" ahead of a resumption in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.
The Jordanian monarch praised the "active" role being played by Blair, as well as the European Union and the United States for "the establishment of a Palestinian state," the official said.
On terrorism, Blair repeated "condemnation of the events of September 11, and the need to stand firm in the international coalition against terrorism," according to a transcript of his remarks provided by the British embassy.
That was one of three main points of concern to all.
The second, Blair said, was "the clear sense in Jordan and the Middle East, including last night as I found in Saudi Arabia, that moderate Islam needs to make a clear stand against those extremists who have hijacked Islam," the statement said.
The third was that "good will is needed to restart the Middle East peace not just for the sake of the Middle East but the world."
The two leaders are expected to talk again next Tuesday, when Abdullah travels to London.
Blair left Jordan late Thursday morning for Israel and talks with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, before going on to Gaza City for talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat -- AFP
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)