Jordan King says Arafat should consider ''stepping aside''
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ought to take "a long look in the mirror" and decide whether to step aside in the interest of his people, Jordan's King Abdullah II said in an interview to the New York Times published on Tuesday.
In the interview, which was conducted on Monday, the King also said Iraq's next ruler should be a "tough guy" with a military background capable of holding the shattered country together.
Pressed in the interview about whether he agreed with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's criticism of Arafat as an "obstacle to peace", King Abdullah was quoted as saying, "I think Arafat needs to have a long look in the mirror to be able to see whether his position is helping the Palestinian cause or not."
The Jordanian monarch also described the type of person he felt should run Iraq after the June 30 transfer of sovereignty to an Iraqi civilian government.
"I would probably imagine... somebody with a military background who has experience of being a tough guy who could hold Iraq together for the next year," King Abdullah was quoted as saying.
The Times said King Abdullah indicated some older officers might not be tainted as are the Saddam loyalists on Washington's "wanted list".
"There were a lot of heroes; there are strong community leaders who are products of the Iraq-Iran war" of the 1980s, he said. "They are national heroes that do appeal to the Iraqi street." (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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