Jordan King warns of region-wide turmoil
Jordan's King warned that a failure to achieve a peaceful political solution to the Syrian crisis could divide the entire region along sectarian lines and plunge the Middle East into chaos.
Speaking with the London-based pan-arab Asharq al-Awsat newspaper said, King Abdullah expressed cocnern that Palestinians could launch an uprising, should the current US-led push for peace negotiations falter.
"It has become clear to all that the Syrian crisis may extend from being a civil war to a regional and sectarian conflict...the extent of which is unknown," King Abdullah told the newspaper, Yahoo News reported.
"It is time for a more serious Arab and international coordination to stop the deterioration of the Syrian crisis. The situation cannot wait any longer," he added.
He also expressed his desire for an international peace conference to take place, as "the logical and ideal" way to resolve a crisis which has sucked in regional and international players.
His comments were published as the United States cast doubt on the likelihood of 'Geneva 2' taking place before the end of July, AFP reported.
“We want to have this as soon as possible, we’ve been clear about that,” US State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell said. “Clearly, the situation on the ground, clearly, the regime’s continued avoidance of this real discussion, are serious impediments.”
“I’m just not going to put a timeline on it, but we think that it’s an important process, and we’ll continue to pursue it.”
The United Nations peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Briahimi expressed similar notions at a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday.
“Frankly, I doubt that the conference will take place in July,” he told reporters in Geneva ahead of a second meeting with U.S. and Russian diplomats.
Brahimi also stressed the importance of the peace conference taking place as a means to find a political solution to the 27 month-old conflict.
King Abdullah also welcomed efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but warned that Israeli settlement building in the West Bank could destabilise any new peace process.
"Fading prospects of peace will explode relations between Palestinians and Israelis in a manner emulating the Arab Spring protests, either through a new intifada (uprising) or a new cycle of violence and counter violence," he said.
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